Ocean accounts provide countries with the means to go Beyond GDP to measure and manage progress towards ocean sustainable development. They achieve this by:

  • Enhancing the power of data by integrating multiple data sets from a range of sources, enabling countries to monitor three critical trends:
    - Changes in ocean wealth, including produced assets (e.g., ports) and non-produced assets (e.g., mangroves).
    - Ocean-related income and welfare (e.g., income from fisheries for local communities).
    - Ocean-based economic production (e.g., GDP from ocean-related sectors).
  • Creating a common information infrastructure (especially important because many ocean policy shortcomings arise from isolated information) enabling evidence-based decision-making on ocean governance matters including:
    - Ocean policy development (e.g., Marine Spatial Planning and protection and integrated coastal zone management) and review of policy outcomes and effectiveness.
    - Ocean economy development planning – ocean accounts help progress with indicators beyond GDP to include environmental and social dimensions.
    - International reporting for the SDGs, Paris Agreement, and other relevant commitments.
    - Finance and investment – ocean accounts provide holistic data inputs into business cases to monitor progress, impact and benefit, as well as assist with evaluating sustainability certification.
  • Supporting the derivation of indicators (e.g., the contribution of the ocean to an economy, as measured by GDP). If a common accounting structure is used, these indicators can be integrated, and international comparisons made.
  • Organising and presenting information in manner that decision-makers can easily understand (e.g., as dashboards, scenarios, spatial plans, and indicators).