Event: Towards an inclusive blue economy

Event, 25 February 2019 to 26 February 2019

IIED will host an international event to discuss how to develop a marine economy that is fair and sustainable.

A fisherman on Ilha do Mel, or Honey Island, off the coast of southeast Brazil (Photo: Bibiana Antoniacomi Schappel, Creative Commons via Flickr)

On 25-26 February 2019 IIED will host a meeting in London that will bring together ocean experts, policymakers, fisheries associations, business and civil society representatives and stakeholders to consider strategies for developing national economies that protect marine resources and people's livelihoods and make sure that the benefits of the ocean are shared equitably. 

The meeting will look at issues such as inclusive governance of the high seas, the true economic value of small-scale fisheries, and fiscal policies and governance issues relating to marine and coastal ecosystems. It will consider how to ensure that policies and practices do not negatively impact marine life or people.

This meeting is part of IIED's wider project work on moving towards an inclusive blue economy.

Issues for discussion

The high seas

The ocean brings many benefits: it plays a part in regulating our climate, it is a rich source of food and other natural resources. But in areas beyond national jurisdiction it is a free for all. There is no governance system and widespread misuse of an ocean that belongs to everyone. We could all play a role in being stewards of the high seas – what is needed to make that possible? 

Fiscal policies for sustainable management of fisheries

How does this connect to sustainable management of the ocean within a nation’s jurisdiction? What fiscal policies can be developed and implemented through tools such as taxes, fees and subsidies? We want policies that deliver a positive outcome for the environment and people, particularly those involved in the small-scale fishing sector.

Natural capital accounts for small-scale fisheries

And if new policies are needed and business practice must change, how can we gather and use data in a convincing and meaningful way to help government and the private sector to understand the value of the small-scale fishing sector? Without that understanding both people and the environment may suffer and opportunities for a sustainable life below water and on land will be missed.


The meeting will feature international experts and stakeholders. Confirmed speakers include:

  • Prof Rashid Sumaila, director, Fisheries Economics Research Unit, University of British Columbia
  • Editrudith Lukanga, executive director, Environment Management and Economic Development Organization (EMEDO), Tanzania; Secretary general, African Women Fish Processors and Traders Network (AWFishNet)
  • Dr Ekaterina Popova, National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton
  • Prof William Cheung, director (Science), NF-UBC Nereus Program; principal investigator, Changing Ocean Research Unit, University of British Columbia

Outline programme

Monday 25 February
14:00Keynote address
15:00-17:30Session 1: The high seas: how can we govern half of the planet for the benefit of all the world’s people?
17:30-19:00Drinks reception
Tuesday 26 February
09:30-12:30Session 2: Winners and losers: what fiscal tools can make fisheries work for the environment and people?
13:30-16:30Session 3: No hidden catch: how can data help us to understand the value of small-scale fisheries in national economies?
16:30-17:00Closing address



To find out more about this event, please email Anne Schulthess, IIED's marketing manager at Anne.Schulthess@iied.org