Agriculture is a crucial sector of blue economy for any country in the world. In the context of blue economy, agriculture refers to fisheries and aquaculture. This sector contributes significantly to food, nutrition, livelihood security, job creation and foreign exchange earnings. Capture fishery is considered as an important traditional sector whereas aquaculture is viewed as a promising emerging sector of blue economy. At present, fisheries in the context of blue economy mean marine fisheries. However, some consider inclusion of inland fisheries in blue economy. Besides capture fishery, all other aquatic resources including aquatic plants should ideally form part of blue economy. In some countries aquatic plants are not even covered in blue economy. There are numerous other issues that need to be studied and debated for a successful blue economy agenda
Capture fishery refers to the biological stock of fish species in the natural marine habitat of the world. Fish harvesting from capture fishery sources constitutes the lion’s share of fish supply in the world. However, the volume of fish production from this crucial natural source has been declining since the 1980s due to decline of fertility, overfishing, IUU fishing, by-catch and inadequate legislations and management systems. Despite struggle over revival of capture fishery in different fishing areas of the world, the potential of this sector for growth of blue economy continues to assume importance among the coastal nations.
Aquaculture refers to fish farming of select species of high consumption and commercial value for the humankind. In view of uncertain fish catch, the contribution of aquaculture to the growth of blue economy and economic development is vital at least for the fishing nations. Fish farming meets the ever increasing demand for fish worldwide and contributes to food security and job creation. Developing countries now lead aquaculture production by exporting fish to other countries and creating value chains for wider participation of fish farmers, suppliers, processing units and exporting firms. In the context of blue economy, aquaculture is viewed positively as a sector with massive potential for overall social and economic development.