Two important issues have risen at the forefront of ocean conservation: the concept of the blue economy and the role of women in international maritime industries. The blue economy encapsulates the sustainable use of the ocean and its resources in a wide breadth of industries including commercial fishing, shipping, renewable energy, and tourism. The impact of women in the blue economy has become a topic of increasing interest in recent years due to the potential of women to engage with ocean conservation efforts.
Understanding women’s role in government, business, civil society, and the blue economy is essential to advancing coastal countries’ industries in a sustainable and efficient manner. Our student team members are tasked with becoming research experts on the status of women’s involvement in the blue economy in the countries of Barbados, Costa Rica, and Indonesia. Through case studies, interviews, and analysis, we will report the existing status and provide recommendations for how each country may better integrate women into the blue economy. These recommendations will be uniquely designed for each nation to optimize their specific sustainability practices through women’s empowerment. Ultimately, the information gained from the intersection of the blue economy and the equity of women can be used as a model to help vulnerable populations improve their sustainability practices and climate resiliency.