The Sealogy Exhibition. A major international, annual blue economy event in Ferrara, Italy, and one of the rare occasions these days to meet people – blue economy stakeholders, exhibitors – in the ‘real world’. Reason enough for the Commission to be there and organise a conference on the new approach for a sustainable blue economy!
Six months after the launch of the Commission communication, the event proved an excellent testing ground to discuss not only the facilitating factors for a sustainable blue economy, such as investments and financing mechanisms, but also the socio-economic value of blue ecosystems and the importance of ‘blue’ knowledge, skills and innovation.
There appeared to be strong agreement on the Commission’s new approach and on the transition by and within the sector that this requires. The potential for new sustainable blue jobs and growth is there, and with the right (public and private) funding and investment in the coming years, the sector will be able to deliver products, materials and services to help realise the Green Deal objectives not just at sea, but in the main economy as well. Particular attention should be paid to the development of circular approaches, and businesses with high social value. Technical and social innovation come hand in hand, and reinforce each other, directly or tacitly.
The meeting concluded that sustainable blue economy is a huge opportunity for islands, who can function as living labs for programmes on education, training, ocean literacy and the transition to sustainable practices.
Ecosystem services and nature-based solutions have a major role to play, although proper mapping and valuation remains a complex exercise, for which common indicators and a harmonized methodology are needed.
More about the EC Conference at Sealogy
- Publication date
- 16 December 2021
- Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries