‘Best of all things is water!’ the great poet Pindar exclaimed during the very beginnings of Hellenic civilization… The seas and oceans are an immense space of 360 million square kilometres, over two-thirds of the Earth’s surface. Their 1.3 billion cubic metres of water contain infinite riches—living organisms, sources of energy, mineral deposits—whose immense potential could largely define economic growth for decades to come. Besides, the globalization of trade and economic relations is based upon shipping (90% of the world’s trade flows), and that of information requires ever more undersea cables, whose web on the ocean floor has become indispensable to the world economy.
Prospects such as these, nowadays framed by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), offer enormous possibilities for entrepreneurship, technological innovation, scientific discovery and hope for the future of our planet and mankind. But they are also a great source of rivalry. The economic and territorial domination of this ‘sixth continent’ is an increasingly central goal of today’s geopolitics, over which a future Chinese giant is already looming.
Such challenges deserved that a publication devote every one of its pages to them in an international, systematic approach combining all the pieces of this immense blue puzzle—for that is the ambition of Blue Innovation. We hope that this publication, which was prepared with the precious assistance of BioMarine Organization, will enable you, its readers, to find out and understand more about this new world, so near and yet so far.