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Industrious coast

Our oceans and coastal landscapes are home to a huge array of industries competing
for the use of the sea. These range from fishing, aquaculture, coastal tourism, maritime
transport and extractive industries such as oil and gas and marine aggregates.

With so many industries vying for the For the construction industry,
right of coastal and/or marine space, a addressing its huge impact, in terms of
massive challenge for the proposed EU emissions, on climate change and the
Integrated Maritime Policy will be to materials used in construction will be
address those competing uses of the sea important for the future. There are
in a way that ensures a sustainable small signs that some areas of the
future. industry are making progress. The
‘Make it Right’ project, for example,
Mineral extraction and supported by movie star Brad Pitt, is
construction now rebuilding 150 coastal homes in
Mineral extraction from the seabed is New Orleans following the devastation
big business. The UK’s marine caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005
aggregate industry alone provides utilising the most sustainable
around 20 million tonnes of sand and construction practices possible.
gravel each year for construction uses
in the UK and Europe. Primarily used
Sebastien Dupray from HR
to manufacture concrete, it is also used
Wallingford discusses the impact of
for general building and in beach
climate change on materials used in
both natural and man made
structures on page 14.
The construction industry is
responsible for an incredible 40 per
cent of global greenhouse gas Marine renewables
emissions and demand for building Marine renewables, in the form of
and construction continues to grow. wave, tidal and wind energy, have the
Coastal construction remains as potential to contribute significantly to
popular as ever, even though the worldwide energy demand.
associated effects of climate change
(storms, flooding, erosion) continue to
hit the coast the hardest.

6 The edge Winter 2008

With climate change concerns Kyoto Protocol and remain largely Coastal tourism also presents an
reaching a critical mass, the pressure unregulated. According to a recent opportunity to engage the public on
on marine spatial planning to report in The Independent, the global issues related to the marine and coastal
accommodate demand from this shipbuilding industry is “in the midst landscape. Marine conservation has
sector is likely to grow significantly in of its biggest boom ever with the typically been a focus, but increasingly
future years. Projects, such as the one numbers of tankers and bulk carriers more integrated issues, such as the
led by the Department of Trade and expected to increase by 50 per cent by impact of climate change and coastal
Industry (DTI), to quantify and 2012”. industry on the oceans, as well as the
spatially map the potential wave, tidal part lifestyle choices can have on both,
and offshore wind resource at a There seems little indication that the are being explored.
regional scale across the UK shipping industry, and by association
Continental Shelf, should help to ports, will do anything other than
Paul Cox, from the National Marine
assist decision makers in licensing grow over the new few years. This is
Aquarium in Plymouth, UK discusses
marine renewable technologies. not surprising given that ships and
marine interpretation in this wider
tankers (around 90,000 in total)
context. On page 12.
Offshore oil and gas currently transport over 90 per cent of
Sixty per cent of the world’s petroleum all goods traded worldwide.
production comes from global offshore Fishing
operations. The International Energy Overfishing, pirate fishing, quotas,
The International Maritime
Agency in its World Outlook series marine protected areas, sea pollution
Organisation gives its perspective
predicts world energy demand will and now global warming are just
on shipping on page 8.
increase by up to 50 per cent by 2030 some of the absolutely crucial issues
and with such an increase in energy surrounding the fishing industry today.
demand, offshore operations are Tourism and leisure industry With more than 75 per cent of all
moving into deeper waters, some Tourism is one of the largest industries fisheries either fully exploited or
reaching depths of over 8,000 feet. in the world and the coastal zone is, for heading for meltdown according to a
This continues to have impacts on the many countries, the focus of their report by the UN Food and Agriculture
marine environment as demand tourism industry. Climate change and Organisation (FAO), the long suffering
makes extraction in less accessible its associated impacts: increased marine fishing industry in 2002 still
places a profitable concern. storminess, flooding, sea level rise, represented 63 per cent (84.4 million
heatwaves and coastal erosion will all tonnes) of total world fish production.
Shipping and ports have an impact on the coastal What has changed is the increasing
Carbon emissions from shipping, landscape and the tourism industry. share of world production by marine
traditionally seen as small in Some small island states, almost wholly and inland water aquaculture.
comparison to other forms of dependent economically on tourism,
transport, are growing fast although are particularly at risk from the threat Aquaculture
these are not yet included in the of climate change. By 2004, according to the UN FAO’s
State of world fisheries and Aquaculture
2006, aquaculture accounted for
approximately 43 per cent of total world
fish production. The same report also
put the aquaculture industry as the
fasting growing animal food-producing
sector, with a worldwide average growth
rate of 8.8 per cent per year since 1970.
China is by far the largest region,
accounting for nearly 70 per cent of
total production in 2004, but there are
many other countries that have begun
to develop an aquaculture industry.

One such country is Nicaragua and

Agnés Saborío Coze, Director of
the Centre of Aquatic Ecosystems
Research, takes an historic look at the
development of sustainable shrimp
farming in Nicaragua. See page 10.
Ship building

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