Marine-based or marine related activities and sectors, often coined the blue economy, play a pivotal role in the Nordic Region. The sustainable blue bioeconomy covers a range of areas, including food provision, transports, coastal tourism and recreation, renewable energy production and biotechnology.

The sustainable use and governance of the seas will be a key part of the Nordic green transition, the promotion of resilient coastal Nordic economies and citizen well-being. However, with increasing human-related pressures on the seas, marine and coastal ecosystems are under stress, and conflicts between sectors competing for blue space need to be resolved. The Nordic coastal regions, especially the Arctic, will also be affected by climate change with deep implications for the natural environment and coastal societies. Harnessing the full potential of the Nordic blue economy means promoting the sustainable growth of maritime sectors, the blue bioeconomy and innovation, while safeguarding biodiversity and ecosystem services that seas provide, as well as tackling the effects of climate change.

Nordregio’s marine expertise includes blue governance and the dynamics of the blue economy in the Nordics, Baltic Sea Region and beyond. In this field, we have conducted wide ranging research in relation to maritime spatial planning and land-sea interactions, cross-border collaboration and stakeholder involvement, sectoral synergies and conflicts, sustainable bioeconomy opportunities and the economic mapping of value creation of different sea-use sectors.