The Blue Economy: Building disciplinary pathways and connections to ensure National Marine Science Plan impact

Indi Hodgson-johnston1, Tim Moltmann1,2

1Integrated Marine Observing System, Battery Point, Australia, 2National Marine Science Committee, Battery Point, Australia


The National Marine Science Plan (NMSP) 2015-2025 has the intent of creating an explicit focus on a sustainable blue economy throughout the marine science system. Since its launch, the NMSP has been broadly and explicitly cited as the blueprint for the future direction of marine science in Australia. Its focus within the concept of Australia’s blue economy, however, is more implicit or even lacking.

The objective of this presentation is to look back on the role of the blue economy in the NMSP to date, and to look forward as to how other disciplines can play a greater role in supporting Australia’s marine scientists to build a robust and sustainable blue economy.

This presentation will first examine the current role of the NMSP in Australian marine science and the way in which the blue economy has been addressed thus far. It will then discuss how the somewhat elusive concept of the blue economy can be defined for Australia. Finally, it will discuss the role of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research in improving the impact of the blue economy’s goal within the NMSP. This part will include discussion of a desktop analysis of marine science-related disciplines in Australia, and suggest pathways to improved collaboration and cooperation between all disciplines who have interest in driving the development of Australia’s blue economy.


Indi is the External Relations Officer for IMOS, and works on engagement with stakeholders in the marine science community, government and industry. She has a background in marine and Antarctic law, and communications.

About the Association

The Australian Coastal Society (ACS) was initiated at the Coast to Coast Conference in Tasmania in 2004. The idea was floated as a means for those interested in coastal matters to communicate between conferences and where possible take resolutions of the conference to appropriate levels of government.

The idea was discussed further at the Coast to Coast Conference in Melbourne in 2006 and it was agreed that Bruce Thom develop a constitution of a company limited by guarantee that would operate on a national basis.

This plan was accomplished and in 2008 at the Coast to Coast Conference in Darwin the constitution was ratified and an Executive appointed. The company received charitable status in 2011.

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