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The blue economy is defined by the World Bank as the blue economy is the “sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystem.” The USVI has a landmass of 133 square miles but approximately 613 square miles of territorial waters. The USVI economy is largely based on tourism and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) wsa $3.9 billion in 2018 in nominal terms, according to the Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis. Of the $3.9 billion, 30 percent is directly attributable to tourism expenditures. In years pre-Irma/Maria, tourism contributed upwards of 50%. The value of coral reefs, fisheries, mariculture potential, renewable energy sources (wind and wave/tidal), seabed mineral deposits, and marine recreational activities are largely uncalculated. The potential economic benefits of developing these marine and coastal resources are assume to be high. The only visible, currently ongoing marine activities are marine tourism and fishing. There are 65 charter yachts that generate approximately $88 million in economic benefits to the Territory each year–through food and fuel provisioning, labor services, tax payments, moorage/docking fees, repair services, etc. Fishery catches have been declining over time and their are less than 150 registered commerical fishermen in the entire territory.
If you were a policy maker and public administrator, what statistical information would you need to assess how to best develop, the marine and coastal resources in the Territory in a sustainable manner?
Please identify what specific assessments and valuations would you need to undtertake before you formulate your development plans?
What ongoing statistical information would you need to monitor the environmental health of the maritime territorial area?
What would be your criteria to decide which part of the coastal/marine portfolio.

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