Enhanced cooperation on ocean issues would have significant benefits for strategic stability, as this would provide a platform for the constructive involvement of extra-regional stakeholders. IORA is considering the possibility of developing an ocean economy framework for improved decision-making strategies. The framework should incorporate the main areas of activities that could be harnessed to optimize the opportunities available within this sector including petroleum and minerals, fishing, seafood processing and aquaculture, deep ocean water applications, marine services, port-related activities, marine renewable energy and ocean knowledge.
IORA fosters sustainable ocean initiatives, projects and partnerships with the objective of supporting the Blue Economy concept. The government, private sector, scientists and general public should collaborate to drive the ocean agenda forward. In this context, scientists and academics play a crucial role. Through rigorous research in relevant fields, the academia can provide the knowledge and understanding that feeds into policy considerations. Cooperation between experts and centres of excellence would provide a coherent region-wide academic perspective that would further facilitate the closer coordination of policymaking among different Member States. There is a need to enhance ocean education in order to develop diverse, interdisciplinary capacities for managing ocean resources in a sustainable and mutually beneficial manner.