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National Accounting for the Ocean and Ocean Economy

This paper highlights the critical role of national accounting in achieving a sustainable ocean economy, and major gaps in how the ocean, ocean services, and ocean assets are currently treated in national accounts. It offers four principles for national ocean accounting and discusses methods for measuring and valuing ocean assets and their rise and decline.

The paper paves the way to implement already-agreed statistical standards and new innovations in national accounting for the ocean, to make the national accounts a more useful tool for realising a sustainable ocean economy.

The authors for this paper are: Eli P. Fenichel, Ben Milligan, Ina Porras, Ethan T. Addicott, Ragnar Árnasson, Michael Bordt, Samy Djavidnia, Anthony Dvarskas, Erica Goldman, Kristin Grimsrud, Glenn-Marie Lange, John Matuszak, Umi Muawanah, Martin Quaas, Francois Soulard, Niels Vestergaard and Junjie Zhang.

On 22nd July 2020, ‘National Accounting for the Ocean and Ocean Economy’ was launched via a webinar ‘Beyond GDP: National Accounting for the Ocean and Ocean Economy’, moderated by Secretariat team member Eliza Northrop and featured Co-lead author Eli Fenichel alongside Canada’s Ocean Panel Sherpa, Catherine Blewett in addition to Expert Group members Glenn-Marie Lange and David Obura. Teerapong Praphotjanaporn from the Global Ocean Accounts Partnership (GOAP) and Claire Jolly from the OECD also joined the panel.

The Blue Paper was also featured in the WRI blog, ‘Without the Ocean, National Accounts Are Incomplete’, authored by Blue Paper authors Eli Fenichel and Ben Milligan as well as Secretariat team member Eliza Northrop. Nature Sustainability also published an adapted version of the Blue Paper ‘National Accounting for the Ocean and Ocean Economy’. 


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