A “blue economy” seeks to establish socially equitable, environmentally sustainable, and economically viable ocean sectors. This article briefly reviews where the term came from and why it has quickly risen as the foremost policy narrative for shaping future oceans. Enabling equitable, sustainable, and economically viable blue economies can be supported through shared technological and scientific advances but will ultimately depend on acknowledging and addressing deep historical inequities in our societies and economic sectors. It is essential to understand this aspect so that we can critique, improve, and implement ocean policies that explicitly recognize, protect, and benefit frontline and marginalized peoples and communities, and ocean social-ecological systems, across the world.
One Earth, Volume 5, 16 September 2022,