State of the Blue Economy Forum 2022 wrap up

December 14, 2022
By For Blue

Photos courtesy: Lewis Williamson

With more than 120 participants from 69 ocean organisations coming together, a clear consensus has emerged over the need for collaboration and knowledge sharing between the numerous sectors that make up WA’s blue economy.

According to the delegates, it’s an approach that will not only be good for the economy and communities, but also good for the ocean.

The third State of the Blue Economy Forum was held at the WA Maritime Museum in Fremantle on 8 December 2022 as part of West Tech Fest.

The event commenced with a Welcome to Country from Marie Taylor, followed by keynotes from Fremantle Mayor Hannah Fitzhardinghe, Andrew Dolling from the Department of Jobs Tourism Science and Innovation Industry and Gigi Brisson from Ocean Elders.

Panel 1: Previous changes, future opportunities

Panel 1 explored the most significant events and changes in the past year and the opportunities for the blue economy.

Speakers included Claudia Franca de Abreu (WA Coastal and Marine Community), David Good (AIMEX, Superyacht Australia & ACMG), Joy Francis-Hayes (Copenhagen Energy), Kathryn McMahon (Edith Cowan University) and Sonia Beckwith (Live Ningaloo).

Graphic recordings courtesy: Peta Roebuck

Priorities for the Blue Economy: breakouts

Following plenary presentations participants moved into five groups, spread throughout the Museum and guided by a host and facilitator. Each group had a slightly different focus: some more on conservation and community, others more on economics and workforce development. All groups were answering the same question:

“What are the top two opportunities or challenges we should prioritise as a blue economy?”.

The results with initial sorting are in the picture below:

Panel 2: Industry focus

Panel 2 asked the panellists which areas stood out for them and their feedback on the priorities from the breakouts.

The speakers were: Miranda Taylor, (NERA), Colin McIvor (Subsea Innovation Cluster Australia), Carli Telfer (WAFIC) and Luke Twomey (WAMSI).

Prioritisation and reflection

After hearing the thoughts of the second panel, all participants were invited to vote on the top priorities. They were:

  1. Collaboration on science, planning, industry operations to maximise synergies across industries and ensure net environment benefit
  2. We need a conceptual change to prioritise the bigger picture: ocean health is human health
  3. Science driven approach to, communicated to communities with their participation

Hannah, Andrew and Gigi were invited to share their closing reflections from a local, state and global perspective

A big thank you to Danicia Quinlan, Nikkola Palmer and Andrew Outhwaite for facilitating the Forum and our team, including volunteers, who helped before and on the day.

A one-page summary of the outcomes is available for download here.

Images and graphic recordings are available for download via DropBox.



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