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Blue Tomorrow: Understanding the Blue Economy

Find your path to an impactful and rewarding career in the biggest opportunity on the planet, the blue economy.

319 enrolled on this course

Aireal image of an aquaculture farm in still blue waters of New Zealand
  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

Understand the importance of ocean literacy in the Decade of Ocean Science

The UN has declared 2021-2030 the Decade of Ocean Science to help protect the health of our blue planet.

On this four-week course, you’ll be introduced to ocean literacy to help you understand how to join the fight for the ocean during this critical time.

You’ll unpack the blue economy to understand what it is, the sectors within it, and its career opportunities. You’ll explore this through the context of New Zealand’s Te Tauihu region, which is leading the country’s blue economy mission.

Unpack the sectors of the blue economy

To help you further understand the blue economy, you’ll learn more about the sectors within it.

From ocean energy and aquaculture to coastal tourism and fisheries, you’ll delve into these different sectors and reflect on your connection with the blue economy.

You’ll also discover the importance of indigenous knowledge to help you develop a comprehensive understanding of the ocean.

Take a deep dive into aquaculture

Next, you’ll delve further into one of the sectors in the blue economy – aquaculture.

You’ll explore aquaculture within New Zealand and on a global scale as well as the learning and career pathways to the aquaculture industry.

Learn from the experts at Cawthron Institute and Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology

You’ll learn about important skills and qualities that will help you develop your career.

With this knowledge, and guided by industry experts, you’ll analyse different pathways of having a career or taking action in the blue economy.

Through different learning tasks, you’ll explore your own short -and long-term goals and outline your action plan into the blue economy.

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  • Week 1

    The ocean and you

    • Welcome and introductions

      Introducing the course contents, the industry guests, and consider your personal and cultural connection to the ocean.

    • Ocean literacy

      Gain a greater understanding of the ocean’s influence on you & your influence on the ocean

    • What is the blue economy?

      Let's investigate the concept of the blue economy, and look at sectors working for the sustainability of oceans and coastal areas.

    • Week 1: Reflect & apply

      Reflect on what you have learned from this week's content. Consider ways to apply this new knowledge.

  • Week 2

    Exploring sectors of the blue economy

    • Introduction to Week 2

      A brief overview of what will be covered in Week 2's learning.

    • Sectors of the blue economy - life below water

      Discover the sectors of the blue economy that focus on living resources that are found below water (SDG-14), and examples of these in New Zealand.

    • Sectors of the blue economy - innovation and infrastructure

      Discover sectors of the blue economy that build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation, and how New Zealand is involved in them.

    • Explore further opportunities in the global blue economy

      Explore your interests and opportunities in the Blue Economy

    • Week 2: Reflect & apply

      Take a moment to reflect on the key learning points from Week 2 and how we might put this learning into practice.

  • Week 3

    Taking a deeper dive into aquaculture

    • Introduction to Week 3

      A brief overview of the topics that will be covered in Week 3.

    • Examples of aquaculture from around the world

      Examples of sustainable marine farms in different parts of the ocean.

    • Careers and pathways in aquaculture

      An opportunity to consider a range of jobs in the aquaculture industry, and ideas for how to begin your career pathway.

    • Aquaculture taster: Chinook salmon

      Chinook salmon hatchery husbandry - Aquaculture taster with NMIT

    • Week 3: Reflect & Apply

      Consider what you have learned this week about aquaculture.

  • Week 4

    Finding your place in the blue economy

    • Introduction to Week 4

      A brief overview of what you will be learning in Week 4

    • Personal factors that affect your next steps

      Evaluate your personal development and possibilities in different learning and career pathways in the blue economy

    • Planning a pathway to a career in the blue economy

      Create an action plan based on your understandings of Blue Economy and pathways

    • Week 4: Reflect & summary

      Reflect on what you have learned during the course, and consider your next steps in your career in the blue economy.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify the 7 ocean literacy principles
  • Summarise what the Blue Economy is and why it is important
  • Investigate which blue economy sectors that you are interested in
  • Explore a taster of learning aquaculture in New Zealand
  • Evaluate careers and volunteer opportunities in your preferred blue economy areas of interest
  • Design a career action plan based on your personalised research

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone who wants to learn how to make a positive impact on the planet and find a rewarding career in the blue economy.

It is most useful for those who care about the ocean but don’t know about ocean literacy, the ocean decade, and the career opportunities the blue economy presents.

Who will you learn with?

I'm a marine ecologist and lead the Restoration Ecology Team at Cawthron Institute, New Zealand’s largest independent science organisation.

Visit my profile: https://www.cawthron.org.nz/our-people/dana

I'm the Aquaculture Program Lead at New Zealand Institute of Technology, NMIT.

View my profile: https://www.nmit.ac.nz/people/show/denise-hearn

Who developed the course?

Blue Tomorrow

Blue Tomorrow connects purpose-led people to the blue economy’s ocean of opportunity, helping to create a future that generations will thrive in.

We partner with leading industry, government, community, research, and education providers to develop online learning experiences that give learners the confidence to take their next steps towards a financially rewarding career that builds a sustainable and equitable future for humanity and the ocean.


Moananui’s mission is to accelerate innovation and investment in Aotearoa’s blue economy in order to generate unparalleled economic, social, cultural and ecological value.

In collaboration with

NMIT logo

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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Get a taste of this course

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