THE BLUE ECONOMY CRC

“Australia’s vast oceans are the heritage, heart and economic future of our country. The value of this marine estate to the homes, work, play, energy, food, safety and security of all Australians is matched only by the enormous economic and environmental wealth that this national asset affords us.”

National Marine Science Plan 2015-2025 – Driving the development of Australia’s blue economy

The Blue Economy CRC brings together expertise in the seafood, marine renewable energy and offshore marine engineering sectors to deliver innovative solutions that will transform the way we use our oceans.

With the third largest Exclusive Economic Zone globally (a marine territory larger than its landmass) Australia has enormous potential to use its ocean domain to increase seafood and renewable energy production.

Growing demand for sustainable seafood, concerns about environmental impact and conflict with community, recreational and policy stakeholders in the coastal zone has made expansion of aquaculture challenging. Australian aquaculture is constrained by the lack of suitable inshore sites and the knowledge to operate effectively in remote and/or exposed offshore environments.

Australia hosts tropical, sub-tropical and temperate water environments that are all capable of supporting aquaculture growth and is also home to some of the world’s best offshore energy resources. Together, these resources underpin an unparalleled opportunity to develop new industries that can drive significant economic growth in line with the $100 billion annual revenue target set by Australia’s National Marine Science Plan (2015-2025).

Aquaculture is the fastest growing global food-producing sector, with the highest per capita consumers of seafood located in Asia. Increasing demand from Asia will only be met from aquaculture, yet existing and emerging aquaculture industries in Australia (and other parts of the world) are constrained by the availability of suitable near shore production sites. Offshore aquaculture is a solution to meet this opportunity. However, the lack of knowledge about operating in this new environment, including robust infrastructure and its maintenance, energy availability on demand, animal husbandry, supply chain logistics and biosecurity, is a major problem.

Equally, the renewable energy sector continues to expand exponentially, with high demand for low carbon energy. The Federal Government has set a large-scale renewable energy target for 33,000 GWh of Australia’s annual electricity generation to come from renewable sources by 2020.

The Blue Economy CRC brings together national and international expertise in aquaculture, marine renewable energy and marine engineering, as part of a single, collaborative project. Through integration of the knowledge and expertise across these sectors, this CRC paves the way for innovative, commercially viable and sustainable offshore developments that will see significant changes in marine renewable energy output and seafood production.

IMPACTS

Impacts from the Blue Economy CRC will include:

  • Seafood production exceeding $5 billion in exports p.a. by 2050
  • Positive trade balance in the value of seafood.
  • Acceleration of Australia’s emissions intensity reduction target of 65% by 2030 Diversification of Australia’s renewable energy export value chain to include “green” hydrogen.
  • Increased investment for ongoing R&D into seafood and energy production.
  • Global recognition as a leader in these rapidly developing industries.

OUTCOMES

Outcomes from the Blue Economy CRC will include:

  • Seafood and renewable energy systems that are robust to offshore conditions.
  • Commercially viable seafood and energy products for the domestic and export markets.
  • Demonstration of the benefits of co-location and integration of the seafood and renewable energy industries.
  • Intellectual property, including products and knowledge, for export
  • Future research leaders and a skilled workforce.