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Oceans and fisheries
News announcement26 June 2018Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries2 min read

Unlocking the blue growth potential in the EU’s outermost regions

On 26 June 2018, experts from the EU’s outermost regions join in Brussels to discuss how the blue economy can help give a new, sustainable impetus to their economies. The meeting is the first in its kind and a direct follow-up action of the EU’s new strategy towards the outermost regions.

European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella:

The blue economy can become one of the powerhouses for the EU economy in general. Surrounded by the ocean and amidst a wealth of natural assets, the outermost regions could be first in line to take advantage of this trend. The European Commission strongly supports this transition.

The blue economy covers all economic activity at, near or from our ocean, seas or coasts. It includes fisheries, tourism and aquaculture but also emerging industries such as ocean energy, biotechnology or desalination. However, much of the focus in outermost regions has traditionally been on fisheries and tourism. A recent study indicates the potential to expand also in the other areas of blue growth, such as algae-based biotechnology.

Before that can happen, several hurdles and bottlenecks need to be resolved – hence the idea to bring the experts from our outermost regions together. A first concern is the current lack of long-term research on their marine resources, including fishing stocks. Without a solid understanding of local ecosystems, it is impossible to manage marine resources and activities sustainably. Other bottlenecks are the insufficient access to financial resources, lack of specialised expertise and the absence of structural coordination.

The EU has several policies in place to support these needs, including the European Fund for Strategic Investments (the ‘Juncker Fund’), Horizon 2020, the Youth Employment Initiative or indeed the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. In many cases, outermost regions already enjoy favourable conditions to benefit from these schemes. Together with regional experts, the Commission is now looking at how to improve their uptake even further.

About the Outermost Regions Forum on Maritime Affairs and Fisheries

Over fifty experts and authorities from the outermost regions (Canary Islands, Azores, Madeira, Réunion, Mayotte, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint-Martin and French Guiana) have been selected to attend this first meeting of the Outermost Regions Forum on Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

Engage in the discussion on Twitter: @EU_MARE

Agenda26 June 2018
1st meeting of the outermost regions forum for maritime affairs and fisheries
Summary26 June 2018
Summary of the first meeting of the outermost regions’ maritime affairs and fisheries forum
Presentation26 June 2018
Catalina Perales-Raya | Applying the Data Collection Framework (DCF) to fisheries systems in the ORs: state of play and challenges in the Canary Islands
Presentation26 June 2018
Olivier Guyader, Lionel Reynal | Perspective for improving assessment of small-scale fisheries in ORs
Presentation26 June 2018
Sylvain Bonhommeau | Collecting data for the future of oceanographic and fisheries science in the EU outermost regions
Presentation26 June 2018
Pedro Ortega Rodríguez | Blue economy in the Canary Islands: an opportunity
Presentation26 June 2018
Lucía Fraga Lago, Rosa Fernández | MATES - Maritime alliance for fostering the European blue economy through a marine technology skilling strategy
Presentation26 June 2018
Alain Kauffmann | EIAH feasibility study for investments platforms in the outermost regions
Presentation26 June 2018
Wioletta Dunin-Majewska | Clean energy for EU islands initiative and why does it matter for OMRs?


Publication date
26 June 2018
Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries