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WA’s marine industries to discuss how going blue will improve the health of the economy – and ocean

The blue economy contributes billions to the overall WA economy Image supplied.

As part of West Tech Fest next week, leaders from across WA’s fishing, energy, engineering, research, tourism and conservation sectors will come together in Fremantle on Thursday (8 December) to plot a course for the future of WA’s blue economy.

Now in its third year, the State of the Blue Economy Forum discusses both opportunities and challenges affecting the ocean and related organisations.

The leaders brought together at the forum represent around $25 billion in gross state product and directly employ 60,000 people across the industry.

The blue economy’s contribution to the economy and employment, based on current estimates and growth rate, could double by 2030.

Comes amid significant increases in blue industries

Andrew Outhwaite, For Blue Managing Director and convenor of the State of the Blue Economy Forum, said this year’s event came at a crucial time for the blue economy in the State.

“Western Australians love the ocean, and an increasing number depend on it to make a living,” Mr Outhwaite said.

“This past three years we’ve seen steep increase in investment in emerging industries such as offshore renewable energy, seaweed aquaculture, marine tourism and subsea technologies.

“However, leaders across all those sectors are also seeing the similar risks, barriers and challenges. To ensure ocean industries and our ocean are both healthy, we need an aligned approach on how industry and government plan, legislate and invest.

There is no other sector with as much potential, that’s aligned with West Australian’s values, and where we have such an internationally-recognised advantage. We are at a crucial moment.

Andrew Outhwaite

Andrew Outhwaite. Image supplied.

Fremantle Mayor Hannah Fitzhardinge added that the city was delighted to again be hosting the State of the Blue Economy Forum.

“Throughout our history as a proud harbour town, the ocean and marine industries have been central to both Fremantle’s economy and identity,” Mayor Fitzhardinge said.

“Marine-based industries currently support around 1400 jobs within the City of Fremantle, and we’re excited about the possibilities for growth in the emerging blue economy.

“Fremantle has the assets, capability and vision to become the leading hub for marine technology and innovation in the Indian Ocean region.” 

Key speakers and panelists include:

  • Hannah Fitzhardinge, Mayor, City of Fremantle
  • Andrew Dolling, Executive Director, Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and 
  • Gigi Brisson, Founder & CEO, Ocean Elders
  • Colin McIvor, Cluster Manager, Subsea Innovation Cluster Australia
  • Claudia França de Abreu, Founding Director, Coastal Connections
  • Darryl Hockey, CEO, WA Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC)
  • Kathryn McMahon, Associate Dean of Research**, Edith Cowan University**
  • Luke Twomey, CEO, WA Marine Science Institution (WAMSI)
  • Miranda Taylor, CEO, NERA
  • Danicia Quinlan, CEO, Fremantle Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Joy Francis-Hayes, Development Manager, Copenhagen Energy
  • Sonia Beckwith, Co-founder, Live Ningaloo
  • David Good, CEO, Australian International Marine Export Group
  • Nikkola Palmer, Events Facilitator

Tickets are available via this link.

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