Blue Economy Bulletin June 2019

Welcome to PEMSEA’s Blue Economy Bulletin. This month, we released our annual report for 2018, which was a milestone year representing 25 years of PEMSEA’s work on Integrated Coastal Management in the Seas of East Asia. Elsevier published a PEMSEA paper which describes the evolution of PEMSEA from a regional marine pollution project to an international organization working on integrated management solutions and partnerships and examines future key areas of intervention by PEMSEA. We also welcome a new project manager to lead the SDS-SEA in the future.

Over 100 countries have now signed on to the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA), which increases the ability of countries to police IUU fishing. Ensuring fishing is sustainable requires increased knowledge of ecological connectivity between national fisheries and the high seas, something that will be aided by the further mapping of the sea floor. A draft text on a new UNCLOS agreement on managing biodiversity in international waters has been released.

The potential of using investments to make a difference has become clear as over $500 billion have now been put into impact investments globally. The Chinese Government is looking to expand the country’s aquaculture industry. The Philippine Government has asked financial institutions to invest more in lower carbon projects. Banks involved in the shipping industry have agreed to a set of guidelines designed aid the lowering of shipping emissions.

Follow the latest updates on blue economy and coastal sustainable development in East Asia on Facebook and Twitter (@PEMSEA). We welcome your feedback, and please let us know if there are other blue economy topics you would like to see in future newsletters and programs.


Available now: PEMSEA Annual Report 2018

Our Annual Report for 2018 is now available online. 2018 marked two significant milestones–PEMSEA’s 25th anniversary and the holding of the East Asian Seas Congress in the Philippines–and also saw our country partners commit to intensify the implementation of our shared regional strategy, the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia. Read more from PEMSEA.

A review of intergovernmental collaboration in ecosystem-based governance of the large marine ecosystems of East Asia

PEMSEA’s new paper, A review of intergovernmental collaboration in ecosystem-based governance of the large marine ecosystems of East Asia, covers the use of integrated coastal management to promote interdisciplinary approaches and cooperation among users and beneficiaries to address complex development issues. Read more from Deep Sea Research.

PEMSEA welcomes new Project Manager for the SDS-SEA

PEMSEA is pleased to announce the official appointment of Ms. Nancy Bermas as the new Project Manager for the GEF/UNDP Project on Scaling Up the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA) and the Chief Technical Adviser of the PEMSEA Resource Facility. Read more from PEMSEA.

World Oceans Day 2019: gender and the ocean

Many remarkable women play important roles ensuring the conservation and effective management of the ocean and coasts across the East Asian Seas region. This World Ocean’s Day we highlight some of them. Read more from PEMSEA.

Vacancy: Human Resources Manager

The Human Resources Manager shall manage the establishment and administration of human relation systems, programs and activities designed to attract, motivate and retain efficient and effective employees. The deadline for submission of application is 28 July 2019. Read more from PEMSEA.


For artisanal fishers, fish fences are an easy, but problematic, option

Fish fences that trap fish in shallow waters increase fish catch in the short-term, but threaten the long-term sustainability of coastal fisheries. Governing their use is a complex task facing many coastal communities. Read more from Mongabay.

Rigs to reefs: How offshore oil platforms could prevent the next great ocean extinction

Coral reefs face huge challenges from climate change and pollution. One unusual form of support may come from decommissioned oil rigs, which can serve as a base for artificial reefs. Around 100 decommissioned rigs in Southeast Asia may be suitable for this, allowing the rigs to move from the oil industry to the eco-tourism industry. Read more from ADB.

Decommissioned oil rigs could serve as artificial reefs. (TheConduqtor / Wikimedia Commons)


FAO chief hails international treaty combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing

Over 100 countries have now signed on to the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA), which entered into force in 2016. This treaty requires foreign vessels to submit to inspections at any port of call, increasing the difficulty of selling illegally caught fish. Read more from FAO.

First draft of UNCLOS agreement on the sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction released

A first draft of a new international law governing the high seas has been released. Topics considered under the law include marine genetic resources, area based management tools (such as marine protected areas), environmental impact assessments, and capacity development and technology transfer. Read more from the UN.

The global shipping industry is looking to decarbonize. (Patrick Brinksma / Unsplash)


Ecological connectivity between the high seas and coastal waters: Why coastal communities need to care about what happens on the high seas

The ecosystems in international waters are closely connected to those within national jurisdictions. Understanding how closely, and in what ways they influence each other, is important for both regulating fishing in national waters, and coming to a global consensus on how to ensure sustainability in international waters. Read more from The Skimmer.

Mapped area of ocean floor doubles

Mapping coverage of the world’s ocean floor has increased to 15% due to efforts by The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project. The end goal of this project is 100% mapping of the ocean floor. Such mapping is crucial to better understand ocean science, and to sustainably manage ocean resources. Read more from MarineBusiness.

The ocean floor is yet to be mapped in detail. (NOAA)


Circular plastics economy: from source to sea

A partnership of UN Environment, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Ocean Conservancy, GRID-Arendal, and the GEF has launched a number of pilot initiatives to tackle the marine plastics problem. Issues tackled include product design, consumer knowledge, and waste management. Read more from IW:Learn.

Beijing backs green aquaculture revolution

The Chinese Government has endorsed a national aquaculture policy, aimed at supporting an industry that already supports the livelihoods of 4.9 million people in China. The intention is to not only make aquaculture more efficient, but to reduce its environmental impact as well. Read more from Undercurrent News.

Aquaculture in China is gaining increased government support. (Chong Fat / Wikimedia Commons)


Poseidon Principles’: Banks pledge to align shipping portfolios with climate goals

11 banks involved in the shipping industry have signed up to guidelines designed to accelerate decarbonization in global shipping. These guidelines promote disclosure as to how investments match the IMO’s goal of reducing emissions by 50% by 2050. Read more from BusinessGreen.

People, planet and profits: impact investing exceeds $500bn

Global levels of impact investments have exceeded $500 billion. This figure highlights the economic potential involved in solving pressing global issues such as climate change. Read more from Aljazeera.

Banks urged to support ‘climate-smart’ projects

Financial institutions in the Philippines have been encouraged to increase their green financing investments by the Philippine Climate Change Commission. This effort is part of the Philippine Government’s moves to implement its Paris Agreement Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). Read more from PhilStar.

Solar panels are already used in many rural areas of the Philippines. (Schadow1 / Wikimedia Commons)


LME:LEARN Data and Information Management: Working Group Meeting and Training

2-4 July, Paris, France

3rd International Symposium on Marine and Fisheries Research 2019

8-9 July, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

3rd YSLME Science Conference

15-19 July, Qingdao, China


16-19 July, Vladivostok, Russia

2nd Symposium on Climate Change Adaptation in the Pacific Region

21-22 August, Lautoka, Fiji