Seychelles on the sea shore – Waves break over coral reef off the coast of Mahe, the largest island of the Seychelles.
The archipelago is among the African states with abundant, relatively untapped marine resources.
Casting the net – Groups including the African Union and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) have outlined plans for efficient exploitation of marine resources, such as through the development of fisheries and aquaculture.
Below the surface – The UNECA further highlight the possibilities for marine tourism, exemplified by the popular resorts in Egypt's Sinai peninsula.
Digging deep – Coastal mining could also offer lucrative returns, such as in Madagascar's ilmenite projects.
Rich pickings – Woman at Soumbedioune fish market, Senegal. West Africa's coastline offers ideal conditions for fishermen, but several issues are holding back a blue economy there.
Illegal fishing – Foreign fleets are plundering the West African waters, limiting opportunities for local workers, and local fish stocks are diminishing.
Marine crime – Another barrier to economic development is piracy, which has become a growth industry once again in East and West Africa.
Contaminated goods – Pollution is also damaging marine environments, particularly in West Africa and the Ivory Coast (pictured).
Weak governance – Governments have failed to control crime, exploitation and pollution alone. But coordinated action through groups such as the African Union could have better outcomes.