European Economic and Social Committee calls for more investment in blue bioeconomy

November 5, 2019 |

In Belgium, at the behest of the European Council’s Finnish Presidency earlier this year, the European Economic and Social Committee has released an exploratory opinion that shows there is a vast amount of expertise, know-how and human tradition linked to water, aquatic resources and the blue bio-economy in Europe. Nonetheless, with regard to its potential and opportunities, business activities related to the blue bio-economy are still rather modest in Europe.

The EESC calls for the EU and other actors within the blue bio-economy to come up with urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. Fisheries, aquaculture and algae culture are crucial to increase sustainable aquatic food production in EU. Developing climate-resilient aquatic food systems requires further research and innovation prior to successful implementation.

Joint efforts between universities, research centers, NGOs and the fishing sector are needed to develop new added value products from fish by-products and waste materials. New financing instruments are needed to promote technological innovations and services. Restoring the biodiversity of the seas, lakes and rivers will open up new opportunities for business, mainly, including family and small businesses on local markets.

The EESC suggests that the blue bio-economy become one of the flagship areas of EU policies and in its cooperation policies with neighbouring countries, as well as in the framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the COP 21 Goals of the Paris Agreement. In this regard, the EESC proposes that the EU Council and to the European Parliament ask the Commission to launch several pilot actions in the different marine and aquaculture areas of the EU. A management committee should be set up including Member States, regions, and stakeholders, with the participation of the EESC.

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