Tourism is arguably the most accessible theme across the blue economy spectrum. Perhaps it’s almost too obvious when considered against deep ocean exploration, mineral extraction, fishing in the open ocean and a host of other themes and industries that seem somehow more mysterious and commercial but marine and coastal tourism accounts for 26% of the blue economy, making it the joint second largest ocean industry. Only the oil and gas sector is considered to have higher economic value in the ocean domain.
There are currently 13,764 Marine Protection Areas (MPAs) jointly covering over 2% of the oceans. One such MPA is Malaysia’s newly formed Tun Mustapha Park comprising 1 million hectares of marine park and shark sanctuary in northern Borneo. Governance, management, effective real-time situational awareness and enforcement are essential for the preservation of the resources in these water spaces and especially the hundreds of fish species that they support.