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.
Recent events in India have brought into sharp focus the urgent need for better communication systems between seafarers and land-based services, especially in times of distress. Cyclone Ockhi at the end of 2017 caused havoc in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, taking hundreds of lives. In particular, many fisherfolk were completely cut off from rescue services, rendering assistance nigh-on impossible. Unsurprisingly, the response from the community was impassioned.