UNCW hosts ‘All Blue Week’ to promote a sustainable economy connected to the ocean

Kiley Woods, Staff Writer

If you find yourself searching the high seas for a period of economic and social growth, All Blue Week offers an original way to approach business and innovation that is environmentally safe.

All Blue Week, hosted by the UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, introduces the idea of a Blue Economy. The event takes place from Nov. 2 to Nov. 6.

All Blue Week begins on Nov. 2 with presentations, workshops and seminars from experts in the community and at the UNCW Center of Marine Science. A Blue economy gets its name from its connection to the ocean. The Blue Economy is defined as the environmentally-conscious use of the ocean’s resources for economic growth across all areas of life in a sustainable manner that protects the health of the ocean’s ecosystems as well.

A research vessel used to help form a Blue Economy. (Courtesy of CFCC’s Marine Technology program)

The opening event is a keynote presentation in UNCW’s Lumina Theatre, given by the critically acclaimed author and futurist Deborah Westphal. In her book titled “Convergence”, she discusses what it means to be human centric. As humans, we are always desperate to find connections and nurture those connections into something more. The way people, industry and the environment work together are not much different. It is easy to ignore the way these things impact one another because it is often discussed in a negative tone. All Blue Week alters the way these ideas interact into a positive path for growth and environmental awareness.

Over a dozen other events will take place during the week. Many of the events will be hands-on workshops that aim to teach and guide people towards understanding the idea of a Blue Economy, as well as educating them about our oceans.

A port and oyster harvesting as part of a Blue Economy. (Daria Amato)

Events including a “Planet Ocean Seminar,” “What’s Brewing in Science?” “Sea Change,” “Living Shores 101” and many others will be available to attend either in person or on zoom.

The “Planet Ocean Seminar” will be held virtually through the UNCW Center of Marine Science. Monica Jain, the founder of Fish 2.0 and Manta Consulting Inc. will be hosting the event. Her interests lie in fisheries and oceans, finance, and impact investing. Fish 2.0 is a group of entrepreneurs and investors who want to develop the sustainable seafood industry.

Located at the Cape Fear Museum, “What’s Brewing in Science?” promotes clean oceans, sustainable fishing, harvesting of the oceans and building an entirely new local economy centered on our closest resource, the ocean.

The haul from the port and oyster harvesting. (Daria Amato)

“Sea Change” also delves into the sustainable seafood industry. Seafood is a $390 billion industry and has impacted the decline in the health of the ocean’s diverse ecosystems. Underwater sensors, robot cameras and data tools are creating something called the “internet of fish” to track activity and harvesting from the ocean.

All Blue Week is an opportunity to learn how the connections between people, businesses and the environment change over time, and how industry and the importance of maintaining a clean environment and ecosystem go hand in hand.