MI hosts “Propelling the Blue Economy” virtual symposium
Tuesday, November 2, 2021

The Marine Institute will host a virtual symposium Nov. 23-25 during Research Week to discuss recent innovations, trends and solutions to aid in developing a sustainable blue economy for Canada. More than 40 presenters from 25 international organizations are taking part in MI’s three-day symposium entitled “Propelling the Blue Economy: Connecting Our Oceans, Our People, Our Future.”2021-Blue Economy

The blue economy refers to the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth. It includes traditional ocean industries such as fisheries, tourism and maritime transport, as well as emerging activities such as offshore renewable energy, aquaculture, carbon sequestration and marine biotechnology.

Ocean Decade

The UN Decade of Ocean Science aims to support efforts to reverse the cycle of decline in ocean health and build a common framework to ensure ocean science can fully support countries in creating improved conditions for sustainable development of the ocean.

“Economic development has been a central tenant of the Fisheries and Marine Institute’s mission since its inception in 1963. As we navigate the opportunities for oceans education, training and research made possible by the UN Ocean Decade, we will continue to work with our industry, community and education partners to propel our collective success,” said Dr. Rob Shea, vice-president, Memorial University (Marine Institute) pro tempore.

Diverse perspectives

The symposium is designed to bring together scientists, researchers, government representatives, industry stakeholders, non-governmental organizations, and Indigenous and coastal communities to exchange experiences and ideas on all aspects of United Nations’ Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030). Many of the sessions will also include students, who are participating in global projects through MI International and enrolled in the institute’s three schools – fisheries, ocean technology and maritime studies.

Among the symposium themes are fisheries, ocean technology, marine spatial planning, internationalization, autonomous shipping and remote operations.Alison Clausen

Collaborative research

“Supporting Memorial University’s research activity in the ocean and strengthening our relationships with key stakeholders is so important to collaboratively achieving the goals of the UN Ocean Decade. I believe the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University will play a significant role over the next decade and beyond in developing innovative solutions to sustainably manage our oceans,” said Paul Brett, MI’s associate vice-president of research and strategic partnerships, and co-chair of the symposium.

Next week’s symposium has been endorsed as an Ocean Decade activity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which was established to contribute to global peace through international collaboration in education, the sciences and culture.

Keynote speakers

Dr. Vianne Timmons, president and vice-chancellor of Memorial University, and Dr. Shea will open the symposium on Nov. 23. The keynote speakers are:Saqamaw Misel Joe

  • Nov. 23 – Alison Clausen, program specialist with the UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, which is responsible for supporting global ocean science and services. She has more than 20 years’ experience in project development and management in marine conservation, marine policy and climate-change adaptation.
  • Nov. 24 – Saqamaw Misel Joe, traditional chief and spiritual leader of the Miawpukek First Nation in Conne River. He has led his people for more than three decades on a path of reconciliation and economic empowerment through recent partnerships in fisheries and energy projects.
  • Nov. 25 – Andrew Furey, premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. Sworn in as premier in August 2020, he is an orthopedic trauma surgeon, educator with Memorial’s School of Medicine and founder of Team Broken Earth which has provided medical relief in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake.

To register for the virtual symposium and to see the full schedule of events and speakers, please visit