Scene-Setting Session

The Ocean Economy: Opportunities and the growing pressures on our oceans and seas

9:00-10:30 Room CC4 

This session provided the context for the conference and presented an overview of the opportunities offered by the ocean economy, as well as the pressures the ocean faces from systematic problems such as over-fishing and exploitation of marine resources, habitat destruction, climate change and pollution. These pressures can jeopardise the livelihoods of millions of people, as shown in The Ocean Economy in 2030 (OECD, 2016) and Marine Ecosystems: State, pressures, economic values and policy instruments to foster sustainable use, based on Chapter 1 Marine Protected Areas: Economics, Management and Effective Policy Mixes (OECD, 2017).

Moderator: Anthony Cox

 Acting Director, Environment Directorate, OECD

Keynote address:

  • Patricia Scotland, Baroness, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations
  • Peter Thomson, Ambassador, United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Ocean
  • Mattias Landgren, State Secretary for Infrastructure, Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation, Sweden

Opening Remarks by: Angel Gurría

Secretary-General, OECD

Scene-setting presentation:

  • Christopher Costello, Professor of Natural Resource Economics, Bren School UCSB, University of California, USA

Presentation of the OECD work on Ocean Economy:

  • Dirk Pilat, Deputy Director, OECD Science, Technology and Innovation Directorate

Session 1

“Greening” of Ocean-Based Industries: Case of bio-based sectors using living marine resources

11:00-12:45 Room CC4

This session featured ongoing efforts and best practices to ensure economic growth, enhance job creation and innovation, and ensuring energy and food security, while addressing challenges such as overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution and climate change. The discussion also focused on the need to reform subsidies and address excess capacity in the fisheries industries, and promote responsible business conduct (e.g. the use of “due diligence” through supply chains to address risks, and role of stakeholders in strengthening business accountability) within the global value chains.

Moderator: Carl-Christian Schmidt

Chair, Nordic Marine Think Tank and former Head of the OECD Fisheries Policy Division 


  • Alberto López-Asenjo, General Secretary of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment, Spain
  • Sofie Allert, CEO, Swedish Algae Factory (onhigh-tech marine products and services)
  • Roel Nieuwenkamp, Chair, OECD Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct

Keynote speaker: Wendy Watson-Wright

 CEO, Ocean Frontier Institute, Canada

Key policy questions:

  1. What can regulations, technology, innovation and further investments do to diminish these pressures?
  2. Which risks and uncertainties  affect the bio-based industries most? What are the biggest pressures they exert on marine ecosystems?
  3. How can standards and guidance on responsible business conduct help ensure that companies prevent and address risks through their entire supply chain?
  4. What are the key research gaps and in which areas can future OECD work be supportive? 

Session 2

Marine spatial planning: a tool for improving ocean governance

14:15-16:00 Room CC4

Effective governance is another essential part of the solution to “greening” the ocean economy. This session focused on marine spatial planning (MSP) including eco-system based approaches, an emerging tool for governments to analyse and allocate the spatial and temporal distribution of the often competing demands for marine space and resources. In essence, MSP addresses the need for conservation and economic activities in the marine environment, to help balance use and protection. In addition, there should be some degree of coordination between local implementation frameworks, national policies and sea basin regional strategies. Panelist explored questions on the lessons we can learn from marine protected areas, integrated coastal zone management, marine spatial planning and other ecosystem-based management approaches. The Issue Paper "Marine Spatial Planning: Assessing the net benefits and improving the effectiveness" was relevant for this session.

Moderator: Anthony Cox

Acting Director, OECD Environment Directorate


  • Christine Valentin, Chief Operating Officer, World Ocean Council
  • Jorge Jiménez, Director General, MarViva Foundation (NGO), Costa Rica
  • Lisa Emelia SvenssonDirector Ocean, Ecosystems, UN Environment
  • Nobuyuki Yagi, Professor, The University of Tokyo, Japan

Keynote presentation: Susanna Fulller

Marine Biologist and Senior Marine Coordinator, 
Ecology Action Centre, Canada

Key policy questions for discussion:

  1. How to ensure the coherence of marine spatial planning among areas under the jurisdiction of different countries in a sea basin, different coastal regions and between a national state and regional authorities?
  2. How to transfer scientific and economic knowledge, including spatial cost-benefit analysis, to the policy arena?
  3. To what extent is marine spatial planning mandatory or signals preferential uses?
  4. Which mechanisms can be used to ensure coherence between coastal and maritime planning without increasing the complexity of marine spatial planning?
  5. What are the key research gaps and in which areas can future OECD work be supportive?

Parallel Sessions

Session A. Monitor progress of the SDG 14 implementation - Room CC18

This session covered global, regional and national indicators for SDG 14 and reflected on the outcomes of the UN Ocean Conference (New York, 5-9 June 2017) and the 2017 High-Level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF) (New York, 10-19 July 2017). It further discussed the relevant work that has been done in this area by the OECD in the contexts of the OECD Green Growth Indicators policy instruments and on indicators on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing (14.4) and fisheries subsidies that induce overfishing and overcapacity (14.6). The OECD further stated its development of a more reliable and harmonised set of indicators on marine protected areas, based on the work of UNEP’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) (14.5). The session also addressed the use of new technologies and big data to improve public policy and capacity to monitor IUU fishing, as it is becoming more important. The Issue Paper "A preliminary assessment of SDG 14 indicators" was relevant for this session.

Moderator: Charlotte de Fontaubert

Senior Fisheries Specialist, World Bank


  • Sophie Seeyave, Executive Director, Partnership for Observation of Global Oceans (POGO), UK
  • Monika Stankiewicz, Executive Secretary, HELCOM Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission
  • Claire Delpeuch, Agricultural Policy Analyst, OECD Trade and Agriculture
  • Anne-France Didier, Adviser on territorial policy, Environment Ministry (SDG 14,) France
  • Mattias Landgren, State Secretary for Infrastructure, Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation, Sweden

Key policy questions for discussion:

  1. What are the data gaps and the public accessibility of SDG 14 indicators?
  2. What are the challenges and opportunities for earth observation and big data to contribute to SDG 14 monitoring, particularly at a disaggregated level?
  3. How to foster international harmonisation of measurement methodologies for the regional and national SDG 14 indicators, given the implications for interpretation and comparability?
  4. How to enhance interdisciplinary science-policy interactions for SDG14 monitoring?

Session B. Marine litter, Micro-plastics and the Circular Economy - Room CC4

In many OECD countries, marine litter is now high on the environmental agenda, e.g. the EU’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) addresses marine litter issues. Regarding Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) pressure is growing to prevent micro-plastics entering the oceans.  Assigning such responsibility could provide incentives to prevent waste at source, promote product design, support the achievement of public recycling and materials management goals, and policies needed to combat “ghost fishing” (disused fishing nets left in the oceans).

Moderator: Peter Börkey

Principal Administrator, OECD Environment Directorate


  • Javier Goyeneche, Environmentalist Entrepreneur, CEO and founder of ECOALF, Spain
  • András Inotai, European Commissioner for Environment,
    Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
  • Nolwenn Foray, Research Analyst, New Plastics Economy,
    Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Scene-Setter: Richard Thompson

Professor, Plymouth University, UK;
GESAMP (UN advisory body)

Key Policy questions for discussion:

  1. What are key policy responses to prevent litter from entering oceans?
  2. How can reduction, re-use and recycling be better applied to reduce plastics entering into the oceans?
  3. Can extended producers responsibility as a policy approach, (where producers are given the responsibility for end-of-life management of their products), help to address marine litter?
  4. Is ocean clean-up a viable solution and what is needed for its implementation?
  5. What are the key measures that could be undertaken by the OECD in cooperation with other international organisations and governments?

Session C. Targeting criminal activities at sea with economic and financial perspectives - Room CC2

Illicit activities at sea are growing and evolving, giving rise to new concerns regarding security and maritime safety. Among them, illegal unreported unregulated fishing (IUU) is one of the greatest threats to marine ecosystems, as it dilutes the effect of policies aimed at preserving fish stocks and protecting ecosystems. IUU fishing operations also involve economic crimes such as document forgery, corruption, money laundering, tax fraud and occasionally terrorism financing. This session discusses policies at the nexus of these activities to deter and curb criminal activities at sea. The Issue Paper “New technologies and big data to monitor sustainable fisheries management” was relevant for this session.

Moderator: Antonia Leroy

Natural Resources Policy Analyst,
Trade and Agriculture Directorate, OECD


  • Hrannar Már Ásgeirsson, Surveillance Expert, Directorate of Fisheries, Ministry of Industries and Innovation, Iceland
  • Kees Lankester, Sea Food Finance Advisor, Scomber, The Netherlands
  • Tyler Gillard, Head of Sector Projects and Legal Adviser,
    Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs, OECD

Scene-Setter: Alistair McDonnell

Criminal Intelligence Officer,
INTERPOL Environmental Security

Key Policy questions for discussion:

  1. How can all levels of government work together to fight criminal activities, especially financial dealings, that support illegal fishing?
  2. How can the issue of ‘beneficial owner’ in the fisheries sector be tackled?
  3. How can existing and future OECD tools be applied to the fisheries sectors and contribute to the fight against criminal activities at sea? 

Session D. Tourism as a driver for Green Growth - Room CC7

Tourism is a significant driver of coastal zone development by creating demand for buildings and infrastructure such as marinas, coastal trails and other waterfront developments.can also promote the development and diversification of local and regional economies. The traditional coastal (mass) tourism model could be rejuvenated to become more inclusive and generate a higher value added. This session discussed how tourism can play a key role in driving the transition to a green ocean economy and help meet the Sustainable Development Goals.

Moderator: Alain Dupeyras

Head of the Regional Development and Tourism Division, Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Local Development and Tourism, OECD


  • Philippe Calamel, Project Manager, Odyssea Croissance et Tourisme Bleu, France& Europe
  • Sibylle Riedmiller, Director, Chumbe Island Coral Park, Zanzibar, Tanzania
  • Jessica Battle, Senior Global Ocean Governance and Policy Expert,
    WWF International

Scene-Setter: Daniel Skjeldam

Chief Executive Officer, 
Hurtigruten AS, Norway

Key Policy questions for discussion:

  1. An integrated governmental approach will be key to supporting the transition to a green ocean   economy. From a tourism perspective what are the main governance challenges?
  2. What policy approaches and management tools are available to accelerate the transition of tourism activities, including cruise, to sustainable consumption and production patterns, and the greening of supply chains?
  3. How can we trigger new investments and financing in the area of ‘green’ tourism and how can we ensure that the benefits flow to local communities?
  4. In which areas can future OECD work address research gaps  and maximize the tourism contribution to a green ocean economy?

Reporting back and Session 3

Reporting Back from Parallel Sessions on Day 1

9:30-10:15 Room CC4

The parallel sessions in the afternoon of Day 1 reviewed specific aspects of green growth and ocean economy. The moderators of these sessions were invited to report back to the plenary on the key knowledge gaps and recommendations for further work that emerged from their sessions.

Moderator: Kumi Kitamori

 Head of Green Growth and Global Relations,
OECD Environment Directorate

Parallel Session Moderators:

  • Charlotte de Fontaubert
  • Peter Börkey
  • Antonia Leroy
  • Alain Dupeyras

Session 3 - “Greening” of Ocean-Based Industries: Case of sectors based on non-living marine resources and infrastructure

10:45-12:15 Room CC4

Session 3 exposed how ocean-based industries that rely on non-living marine resources are making efforts to shift towards green growth. Existing and emerging industries, such as deep-sea oil and gas exploitation, sea-bed mining, renewable energy, shipbuilding, maritime transport and coastal tourism development, have started greening their activities by taking advantage of innovation, digitalisation trends and successful cross-sectoral collaboration. This session discussed best practices in addressing risks and uncertainties for the future development of these industries, policy options to boost business prospects while managing the ocean sustainably through green public procurement, sustainable tourism and coastal zone management. It highlighted innovative examples that contribute to green growth from shipbuilding (“greener ships”), new energy and extractive sectors and explores synergies between existing and emerging ocean-based industries.

Moderator: Christina Abildgaard

 Marine Bioresources and environmental research, Research Council of Norway; Steering Board Member of the OECD Ocean Economy &
Innovation Project 


  • Shin Otsubo, Deputy Director-General, Maritime Bureau, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) Japan; OECD Council Working Party on Shipbuilding
  • Ann Dom, Deputy Director, Seas at Risk
  • Olaf Merk, Administrator, Ports and Shipping, International Transport Forum (ITF), OECD
  • Cédric Philibert, Senior Energy Analyst, Renewable Energy Technologies, IEA 

Keynote speaker: Reinhard Lüken

Managing Director, German Shipbuilding and
Ocean Industries Association;
European delegate at OECD Council Working Party on Shipbuilding

Key policy questions:
  1. What can be done to make the existing and new ocean industries more sustainable?
  2. What should be a priority for governments and for private sector?
  3. Which technologies may further improve quality of oceans in the future?
  4. Which experiences can be showcased in fostering green growth solutions from OECD and non-OECD countries for oceans? How can successful approaches in one region be applied elsewhere?

Closing Remarks

Getting the Policies Right on greening the Ocean Economy

12:15-13:00 Room CC4

Governments will play a key role in fostering innovation for greening the ocean economy and strengthening integrated ocean management. This final session provided the opportunity to review policy implications and possible future work for the OECD. Various OECD Directorates working with relevant Committees provided their reactions to the Forum outcomes.

Moderator: Noé Van Hulst

Ambassador, Permanent Delegation of the Netherlands to the OECD

Reponses from OECD Directorates:

  • Dominique Guellec
    Head of Division, OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation

  • Carmel Cahill
    Deputy Director, OECD Trade and Agriculture Directorate

  • Anthony Cox
    Deputy Director, OECD Environment Directorate



Registration from 8:30 - 9:30