Sun shining over the ocean-expansive
Sun, sea, and sky (Credit: Pixabay Public Domain Images )

You’ve heard of “Ocean Satellite Accounts,” right? No? Well, that could be because they do not exist—yet.

Market sectors such as healthcare, energy, and agriculture have special “satellite accounts” monitored by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis that provide important details of those industrial sectors. There is no such thing for the oceans, although the ocean economy consistently generates a larger share of the U.S. economy than any other major natural resource industry, including agriculture, forestry, and oil and gas. In 2017, the Center for the Blue Economy and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute began work to jointly assist the U.S. government in the creation of an official Ocean Satellite Account.

Container ship approaching offloading cranes SF or Oakland Bay Area CA
Shipping containers and unloading cranes in the San Francisco Bay (Credit: Casey Christopherson )

The Center for the Blue Economy’s pioneering work in measuring the ocean in the economy through the National Ocean Economics Program is now moving into new phases. The center is working with ERG, a consulting firm in Massachusetts, NOAA and the Bureau of Economic Analysis to create an Ocean Satellite Account, marking the first time our nation will officially measure the economic contributions in the national income accounts.  The satellite account will provide more detail than current approaches on the industries comprising the ocean economy, with particular focus on “blue technology.”

For More Information

Contact Rachel Christopherson, Program Manager, Center for the Blue Economy at