5. Research agenda for ocean accounting

Table of Contents



  • This Guidance is a work in progress and future revisions will benefit from additional research, testing and deliberation among experts and users. Appendix 6.8 presents a more extensive list of research questions compiled from contributors to this Guidance.

  • Some of these questions will benefit from progress in the SEEA Ecosystems revision process. Others will feed into that process.

5.1 Ocean assets

  • Including produced capital, such as ports and harbours, and other coastal and marine infrastructure in the asset accounts. This would require developing lists of what those produced assets are and developing methods for representing them in the accounting tables, including assets not covered by the SNA 2008 (see Defining environmental assets).

  • Including human capital, such as knowledge about the ocean and experience with the ocean. Although these are considered cultural ecosystem services, research would be required to develop appropriate measures and accounting treatments of their contributions to human capital (see Defining environmental assets).

  • Testing the IUCN Global Ecosystem Typology against national and international (CMECS, CBiCS) classifications (see Classification of ocean ecosystems).

  • Developing a comprehensive view of monetary asset accounts, one that includes the future flows of SNA and non-SNA benefits (see Monetary asset accounts and Spatial data infrastructure for Ocean Accounts).

5.2 Flows to the economy (ocean services)

5.3 Ocean economy

  • Putting the ocean economy into context of the whole economy: Developing accounting approaches to establish not only ocean economy satellite accounts, but also to derive equivalents of national balance sheet, balance of trade (imports/exports), fixed capital formation, depreciation/depletion, and non-market goods and services (see Scope boundaries of Ocean Accounts).

  • Establishing an agreed conceptual framework and classification of characteristic economic activities to support a more standardized approach to Ocean Economy Satellite Accounting (see Ocean economy satellite accounts).

  • Linking ocean economy satellite accounts to changes in physical and related financial capital (see  Assessing the ocean economy).

5.4 Combined presentation

  • Developing appropriate economic, environmental and social indicators for combined presentations that encapsulate information on assets, conditions, flows at spatial and sectoral disaggregation (see Combined presentation).

5.5 Ocean wealth

  • Allocating the wealth of corporations, households and governments to the ocean (see Ocean wealth accounts).

5.6 Spatial database