What is it? • It is the water equivalent of the green revolution and primarily refers to the management of water resources that can steer humanity to achieve drinking water and security in irrigation of crops.
Why Blue Revolution? • The reduction in freshwater supplies per capita are threatens the health and living standards of millions of people in an increasing number of countries which affects both the agricultural productivity and industrial development of countries. Furthermore, seafood provides about 20% of the world’s total animal protein intake. However over-fishing is threatening the supply of this vital resource and causing destruction in fish populations and ecosystems too.
Why Blue Revolution • Nowadays the fishing gear enables more intensive fishing in areas of the seas that were previously hard to access. Sometimes, the accidental catch of marine life including turtles and sharks is causing many of them to be extinct. Also, more than 46,000 pieces of plastic litter are floating on every square mile of ocean. Oceans not only help regulate global climate, but are extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Marine ecosystems such as coral reefs and mangroves are already being affected.
Human Factors • Human factors include farmers and policies. • The same as other farming, farmers are the ones who make the decision of what to grow and how to grow. They will decide whether to farm intensively or extensively. Hence the decisions of the farmers will affect the blue revolution a lot. • Also policies from the government will affect the blue revolution a lot. For example, all the Policies of the European Union have massive influence on the development of the European coastal zones: the Regional policies with its development and support programmes, the Policies for transports planning, licensing and technical solutions, the Fisheries policies with its effects on the Common Pond, the Environmental Policies with rehabilitation of coastal landscapes. • The policy may deter the blue revolution. It may also promote its development.
Physical Factors • The physical factors include the climate and location. • A warm climate may be suitable for more fishes to grow, on the other hand a cold climate is not so suitable for many fishes. Hence a bad climate may slow the blue revolution and a good ,ideal climate may promote the blue revolution. • Needless to say, the location is very important. Whether it is near the sea directly determines whether the blue revolution is possible. Also, being near the market may also be a promotion of blue revolution.
Challenges and Solution • One challenge is that the level of output may be not high enough, so the farmers in LEDCs are still poor and hungry. One possible solution is to introduce ‘high yield fish’ to the farmers and teach them how to maximize the yield. If possible the government may subsidize the farmers. • Another challenge is that the sea may be polluted while farmers farm the sea so the benefit will not be long-term. The possible solution is to teach the farmers certain skills and technology of farming the sea. This may help them preserve the environment of the sea so that the farming is sustainable.
Statistics • Since the fifties the world's fishing fleet has been growing, reaching a peak between 1970 and 1989 when fleets grew at twice the rate of fish landings. Each year, the governments of the world subsidise the global fleet by US$54 billion to obtain catches to the value of US$79 billion. • As fish become scarcer, prices increase and the international fish market expands to new grounds. Fish production in the Southern countries has skyrocketed with foreign exchange earnings from their fish increasing from US$9 billion in 1983 to US$17 billion in 1993.
Statistics • The proportion of global stocks classed by the FAO as over-exploited, depleted or recovering grew from 10% of the total in the mid-1970s to an alarming 25% by the early 1990s, and has levelled off since then. But only a tiny sliver of that is recovering. And fishing grounds that are “fully exploited have risen to around 50% of the total, from the mid-40s ten years ago; much of this is teetering on the edge of over-exploitation
Statistics • More fish are consumed as the world population become increasingly richer. Worldwide per capita fish consumption nearly doubled from about 8 kg in the early 1950s to about 15.8 kg in 1999. World total demand for fish and fishery products is projected to expand by almost 50 million tonnes, from 133 million tonnes in 1999/2001 to 183 million tonnes by 2015 .
Statistics • According to FAO statistics, the contribution of aquaculture to global supplies of fish, crustaceans and molluscs continues to increase from 3.9 percent in 1970 to 29.9 percent in 2002. Worldwide, the sector has grown at an average rate of 8.9 percent per year since 1970, compared with only 1.2 percent for capture fisheries and 2.8 percent for terrestrial farmed meat-production systems. Production from aquaculture has greatly outpaced population growth, with the world average per capita supply from aquaculture increasing from 0.7 kg in 1970 to 6.4 kg in 2002, representing an average annual growth rate of 7.2 percent.
Evidence • Before 1939, the Japanese were producing about 76,000 tons a year. By 1987, their production had increased to 1.1 million tons. Along their coastlines, the Japanese farm salmon, prawn, flounder, yellowtail, red sea bream and other species with high market value. • Fisheries expert Brian Davy of the International Development Research Centre says major disease and pollution problems are already emerging in Japan. Fish waste and uneaten fish food have accumulated on the sea bottom.
Case studies • CHINA • In 1985, backed with World Bank loans, China started to develop its coastal line and inland water bodies. For instance, in the Liaoning Province, some 98,000 hectares of beaches have been set aside for this purpose which accounts for around 60% of provincial total. • In order to develop aquaculture, the Chinese Government liberalized the market relying on external financial aid, particularly from the World Bank. In 1987, a US$7.3 million loan to China enabled an increase of output of cultivated prawns, eels and laver.
Case Study • However, in 1994 Leith Duncan, a fisheries consultant who travelled to China, reported that in Zhejiang Province, 97% of the prawns produced were dying from diseases resulting from water pollution. • Still, in 1995, China alone accounted for 63% of total world aquaculture. • In 1996, China's total volume of aquatic products reached 28 million tons, a quarter of the world's total output This enormous volume is made possible through a combination of political will, natural resources, scientific and technological development and financial investment, done in the hope to satisfy the large population they had. • In the meanwhile, China is leading the field in the Blue Revolution.
Acknowledgements • http://cms.iucn.org/news_events/news/focus/2009_marine/?UNewsID=3162 • http://www.infoforhealth.org/pr/m14/m14chap7_1.shtml • http://www.newint.org/issue234/blue.htm • http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Blue+revolution:+the+promises+and+pitfalls+of+fish+farming-a020564251 • http://www.grain.org/seedling/?id=100 • http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa5367/is_199911/ai_n21447327/