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News article | 17 May 2021 | European Commission

European Commission proposes a sustainable blue economy for the European Union and strategic guidelines for EU aquaculture

The European Commission has proposed a new approach for a sustainable blue economy in the EU for the industries and sectors related to oceans, seas and coasts. 

Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius at the press conference on the EU's sustainable blue economy

A sustainable blue economy is essential to achieving the objectives of the European Green Deal and ensuring a green and inclusive recovery from the pandemic. All blue economy sectors including fisheries, aquaculture, coastal tourism, maritime transport, port activities and shipbuilding will have to reduce their environmental and climate impact. Tackling the climate and biodiversity crises requires healthy seas and a sustainable use of their resources to create alternatives to fossil fuels and traditional food production.

Transitioning to a sustainable blue economy requires investing in innovative technologies. Wave and tidal energy, algae production, development of innovative fishing gear or restoration of marine ecosystems will create new green jobs and businesses in the blue economy.

The Commission also adopted new strategic guidelines for a more sustainable and competitive EU aquaculture. The guidelines offer a common vision for the Commission, Member States and stakeholders to develop the sector in a way that contributes directly to the European Green Deal and in particular the Farm to Fork Strategy. The guidelines will help the EU aquaculture sector become more competitive and resilient, and to improve its environmental and climate performance.

Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for the Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs said:

With our new approach to the blue economy, we fully subscribe to the EU's ambition to restore biodiversity by protecting 30% of its marine space by 2030. We know that Marine Protected Areas lead to increased biodiversity and larger fish stocks, but also to economic diversification and thriving coastal communities. On top, new activities such as designing artificial reefs, restoring important seabed habitats, and developing solutions to fight pollution or eutrophication can become an economic sector in its own right.

 

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