European Green Deal: Developing a sustainable blue economy in the European Union

 

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. 

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.

Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the Green Deal said: “Healthy oceans are a precondition for a thriving blue economy. Pollution, overfishing and habitat destruction, coupled with the effects of the climate crisis, all threaten the rich marine biodiversity that the blue economy depends on. We must change tack and develop a sustainable blue economy where environmental protection and economic activities go hand in hand.”   

Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for the Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs said: “The pandemic has hit the marine economy sectors in different, but profound ways. We have an opportunity to start afresh, and we want to make sure that the recovery shifts the focus from mere exploitation to sustainability and resilience. Thus to be truly green, we must also think blue.”

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.

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