Modelling the Blue Economy

Author: Mike Lloyd | Date: 31 Jan 2019

Can computer modelling help us take more from the oceans while simultaneously reversing damage?

2-minute analysis

The worldwide ocean economy is valued at around $1.5 trillion p/a(1)

But there has been a shocking plunge in ocean health that has been directly linked to human activities(2)

The oceans are 26% more acidic than 100 years ago(3)

The oceans have also warmed by 1.3°C over the past 100 years(4)

Ocean dead zones have quadrupled since 1950, disrupting a $150bn fishing industry

On current trends $1 Trillion will be lost from the services provided by coral reef ecosystems(5)

Modelling can help make better political, investment and engineering decisions

Ecological Marine Units (EMUs) are a key 3d modelling tool, enabling 52 million global measurement points. The model allows users to click anywhere on the ocean map and get detailed data. Try the model here:

Global ocean models can help the fastest-warming marine regions adapt to climate change

Data from ships’ sensors can detect illegal fishing, and inform zoning plans that balance ecological needs with fishing and shipping. 

Understanding ocean dynamics at depth and in 3d is vital. For example 3d models show that a slowdown in the Atlantic Conveyor Belt could mean a colder Europe(6) 

Plastic waste causes $13 billion in annual damage to marine ecosystems. Drift computation can find the best plastic pollution convergence zones to target clean-up

PlasticAdrift enables users to see where waste plastic will end up from a given starting point. 

The use of modelling in the Blue Economy remains ripe for innovation

We will need to lean heavily on disruptive tech to successfully take more from the oceans while simultaneously reversing damage. 







(6) Nature –


Useful resources 

Great introduction to Ocean Modelling here: