European Maritime Day 2024 will spotlight the EU Sea Basins Strategies

Set against the picturesque backdrop of Svendborg, Denmark, this annual event, hosted at the International Maritime Academy (SIMAC), promises to be enlighting for the maritime world.

On May 30-31, EMD 2024 will draw Ocean Leaders from across Europe to converge, deliberate, and establish collaborations focused on addressing pressing challenges and promising opportunities within the blue economy and marine ecosystem.

Kickstarting the festivities on May 30, the High-Level event on the main stage will feature prominent policymakers, including Charlina Vitcheva, Director General at DG MARE, along with representatives from Denmark, France, Portugal, and Moldova. This session, scheduled from 10:30 to 11:45, will spotlight the remarkable success of the EU Sea Basin Strategies as pivotal drivers of the Blue Economy, offering valuable insights into fostering sustainable maritime growth.

Later that day, from 15:00 to 16:15, a workshop led by the Sea Basins Assistance Mechanism (that includes the WestMED, Atlantic and Black Sea) will disclose synergies amongst EU « blue » initiatives. Expert speakers from EU4OCEAN, Sustainable Blue Economy Partnership, and the Energy Transition Partnership for EU fisheries and aquaculture will shed light on collaborative pathways for sustainable marine development.

EMD 2024 serves as an interactive in-person conference and exhibition. A place where businesses, governments, NGOs, academia, and EU citizens connect and discover. Through engaging discussions, workshops, and pitch sessions, stakeholders actively help shape the maritime agenda, tackle current challenges, and chart a course for future opportunities.

Join us in Svendborg and be a part of this dynamic exchange. Register now!

success story announcement poster with a blue crab

WestMED Success Story. Tackling invasive species: a successful Italian-Tunisian approach with Bleu Adapt and ARIBiotech

Tackling invasive species is one of the main lines of action by the European Commission (EC) on protection of marine ecosystems and its biodiversity, and it and is especially applicable to the Mediterranean Basin.

The introduction of these organisms into ports, coastal areas, and watersheds is damaging aquatic ecosystems worldwide, with estimated direct costs in the millions of dollars.

Invasive species are primarily spread by human activities. Maritime traffic is considered one of the main causes. Ships can carry aquatic organisms in their ballast water and biofouling on vessel hulls.

Invasive species can easily move between different geographic areas, especially in regions like the Mediterranean region with significant maritime connections.

EU policies
At European level, several regulatory frameworks tackle the challenge of invasive species.

The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) is the primary European tool for maintaining clean, healthy, productive, and resilient marine ecosystems. The Directive requires Member States to develop national marine strategies to achieve or maintain a “good environmental status” and more sustainable use of marine resources. The Descriptor 2 of the MSFD address non-indigenous species, which expand their typical geographical distribution and become ‘invasive’ when they can threaten marine biodiversity.

The EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and the Regulation (EU) No 1143/2014 on Invasive Alien Species identifies invasive alien species as one of the five main direct factors in biodiversity loss. All of these regulatory frameworks directly contribute to the European Commission’s Green Deal Strategy.

More than 1000 non-indigenous species have been identified in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Over half have established permanent populations and are spreading, causing concern about the threat they pose to marine ecosystems and local fishing communities.

Cross-border cooperation

Species move without any geographical limitation and thus, a national or local approach is often insufficient to counter these threats across the Mediterranean. Instead, a transnational, more regional approach is recommended to fight a coommon threat. Primarily because:

  • Implementing measures at regional level are more cost-effective.  Economies of scale allow for sharing resources and costs among multiple ports and regional actors.
  • Sharing knowledge and experiences facilitates the mutual learning.
  • Coordinating strategies and policies lead to better management with comprehensive approaches

Italy-Tunisia cooperation

An example of such a transnational cooperation is the Interreg NEXT Italy-Tunisia funding programme.

This programme spans the territories located on both sides of the maritime route connecting Sicily and Tunisia

The general objective is to exploit the unused growth potential of the territories involved, to achieve an economic, environmental and social rebalancing of the cooperation area, supported by inclusive growth, sustainable development and good governance.

This €36 Million programme has enabled multiple blue projects. Two notable projects that address invasive species are Bleu Adapt and Aribiotech

 

Logo bleu-adapt

BLEU ADAPT: Fighting the “blue crab” invasion in the Mediterranean

The blue crab is an invasive species introduced into the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal.

The crab threatens the artisanal fishing along the Tunisian and Sicilian coastline. It damages the nets, eats all the other fish, has few predators and reproduces quickly.

Initiatives have been undertaken in this region to support the fishing community to adapt by learning how to make use of the situation through acknowledging the economic and nutritional value of the blue crab and changing the ways of fishing and commercialisation

‘BLEU-ADAPT – Marine biological invasion and fisheries: study, mitigation of damage and adaptation in the context of climate change’, is a comprehensive EU-funded project that was set up in 2019 and implemented by Tunisia’s Ministry of Agriculture.

The aim of BLEU ADAPT was to provide a rapid response to the blue crab invasion and develop a common strategy to cope with this new problem. Given the commercial potential of the blue crab, project partners have been conducting a series of studies (mapping and risk analysis) and pilot actions – like training and coaching artisanal fisherfolk and organising a blue crab festival – to introduce and promote the blue crab in local and international markets.

Next to the great nutritional and culinary value, the shell powder offers many valuable applications  from a biotechological point of view, for animal feeds, cosmetics, nutraceutics and industrial use.

Bleu Adapt has considerably built and consolidated the Tunisian supply chain and transformed a huge environmental challenge into an opportunity of economic development.

Today the country has more than 50 companies processing and transforming the blue crab, including its shell, and a fast growing industry with its main export markets in Indonesia (38%), South-Korea (26%) and Vietnam (18%).

Other regions in Italy have shown interest to understand the dynamics of such a «joint partnership» approach like the one used with Bleu-Adapt as a way to properly respond to this emergency along its 8000 km coastline.

Rafik Nouaili, project coordinator of Bleu-Adapt

“The BLEU-ADAPT project had certain social and environmental impacts and also contributed to improving the economic situation of small fishermen and their families. The blue crab was previously considered a harmful species and has become a boon for many Tunisian fishermen, particularly on the island of Kerkennah. Its protection is essential! The key factors in the success of the BLEU-ADAPT project and the national strategy aimed at encouraging fishing, marketing and valorization of blue crab deserve to be explored and shared with all Mediterranean countries.”

This project also underscores the significant benefits that ENI CT Italie-Tunisie (now INTERREG NEXT Italie-Tunisie) transmits as an example to Mediterranean policies as a whole, for a resilient and sustainable Blue Economy.

Bleu Adapt was winner of the 2023 WestMED award in the category ‘Biodiversity, Marine Habitat Conservation and Response to Marine Pollution.’ You can watch their project pitch here

More info about Bleu Adapt
Budget Total: €1.136.660EU contribution: €1,022,994 (INTERREG IT-TN)
Partners Directorate-General for Fisheries and Aquaculture Tunisia  (Tunisia)

University of Palermo – UNIPA  (Italy)

Distretto della Pesca e Crescita Blu – COSVAP (Italy)

Higher Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture of Bizerte (Tunisia)

National Agronomic Institute of Tunisia – ISP(Tunisia)

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Duration 31 December 2019 – 31 October 2023

 

Logo aribiotech
ARIBiotech is another project dealing with invasive species and co-financed by the European Union under the ENI CT Italy-Tunisia Programme

ARIBiotech is an Alliance for Research and Innovation in Blue Biotechnology that focuses on the valorization of marine waste. It operates at the intersection of research, innovation, and entrepreneurship, with a specific emphasis on marine biotechnology.

Fishing ports are vital components of the regional economies, serving as active hubs that support the fishing industry, facilitate seafood distribution, and boost local economies. However, these dynamic environments are not without their challenges, as various forms of waste accumulate due to fishing and processing activities. This waste includes offcuts from fish processing, packaging materials, plastic debris, and dredged sediments.

Recognizing the pressing need for waste management and sustainable practices in marine ecosystems, the project addresses these issues head-on. It aims to explore innovative solutions for treating and utilizing marine waste, particularly focusing on the blue crab, to mitigate environmental impacts and promote sustainability in the fishing industry.

The port of Sfax, which faces significant pollution from blue crab waste, was selected as a focal point for action. Here, a startup called ‘Flavor for Med Fish’ has been established to produce hydrolysate and chitin extracted from blue crab waste. These products find applications in various sectors, including aquaculture feed, highlighting the potential for transforming waste into valuable resources and fostering sustainable practices in fishing port communities.

As part of this process they created a cross-border alliance for the exchange of knowledge and skills through internships and study visists.

ARIBIOTECH has allowed its partners to develop a network of laboratories which develop products from waste and by-produces, enriching the already consistent ecosystem of companies engaged in transformation, valorization in Tunisia and Sicily.

This network whose legal status is being defined (as a consortium or similar in the next months) is therefore to undertake common actions towards valorization and diversification, from traditional use of these produces and their derivates.

Considering the historical and robust interaction between Sicilian and Tunisian fishery ecosystems, this contributes to let these become closer and closer towards a unique joint ecosystem.

Saloua Sadok, 2021 WestMED award winner with Biovecq, and Aribiotech project leader:

“We are committed to advancing marine science and technology through innovative research. Our focus on blue biotechnology and aquatic bio-products aims to create sustainable solutions for waste valorization in Tunisian-Sicilian fishing ports. By synergizing research and entrepreneurship, we strive to address environmental challenges and promote economic growth.”

More info about ARIBiotech
Budget Total: €1,424,058EU contribution: €1,281,652 (INTERREG IT-TN)
Partners Institut National des Sciences et Technologies de la Mer – INSTM (Tunisia)

Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Sicilia (Italy)

Agence des Ports et des Installations de Pêche (Tunisia)

Istituto per lo studio degli impatti antropici e sostenibilità in ambiente marino- Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche – CNR-IAS (Italy)

Biotechpôle Sidi Thabet (Tunisia)

Direction Générale de la Recherche Scientifique – DGRS (Tunisia)

Consorzio Universitario della Provincia di Trapani (Italy)

Région sicilienne – Dipartimento della Pesca Regione Siciliana (Italy)

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Duration 7 June 2022 – 31 December 2023

 

Further reading:
Preview of BLEU-ADAPT scienfific publication on ScienceDirect: Invasive blue crabs and small-scale fisheries in the Mediterranean sea: Local ecological knowledge, impacts and future management
FAO article: From invasive species to prized export
GFCM article: Research programme on blue crabs
Mongabay article: Love ‘em and loathe ‘em: Mediterranean grapples with tasty, voracious invasive crabs

Preview of ARIBiotech scientific publications on ScienceDirect: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11356-021-18398-y | https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0889157524002035?via%3Dihub

International Ocean Institute poster with 50 yeras logo and 3 sea related images

Collaboration between WestMED Malta and the International Ocean Institute, headquartered in Malta

On April 4 2024, the Maltese WestMED National Hub, Dr. Stephanie Vella and Ms. Stephanie Bugeja, met with the International Ocean Institute (IOI), represented by Ms. Antonella Vassallo, its managing director and their project officer Mr Cosmin Nicolae Chivu.

Since its foundation in 1972 by Professor Elisabeth Mann Borghese, the IOI has grown into a world leading independent, non-governmental non-profit organisation conducting training and capacity building in Ocean Governance with the aim of creating knowledgeable future leaders. It has a tremendous network of 10 centres and 21 focal points around the world, and is headquartered in Malta.

The IOI enjoys special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and consultative status at some of UN’s Specialized Agencies

The scope of the meeting was to explore areas of collaboration between the WestMED and IOI. Especially because ‘improved maritime governance’ is one of WestMED’s leading goals. The identified areas are mainly related to helping IOI’s vast ocean governance knowledge and networks expand to the wider WestMED region, find potential funding opportunities to allow better access through scholarships and mutually promote each other’s initiatives for the benefit of stakeholders in the region.

IOI trains young and mid-career practitioners in contemporary approaches to coastal and ocean management, with an emphasis on the moral, ethical and legal values in Ocean Governance (equity and peaceful uses of the ocean). As a knowledge-based institution the IOI offers a number of training courses which can benefit stakeholders within the WestMED.

Of particular importance is the training programme on Regional Ocean Governance for the Mediterranean, Black,  Baltic and Caspian seas; organised in close collaboration with the University of Malta. Next to this, the IOI also organises the Ocean Academy Course on Ocean literacy in order to empower stakeholders become more active and positively influence their communities and beyond. These courses are offered periodically through the year.

Last but not least, IOI produces publications on current scientific, legal and policy developments and participates in the development of national and international ocean governance agendas, whereby WestMED’s experience can be of great use.

For more information contact the national hub Malta

 

Overview of IOI publications
Overview of IOI’s World Ocean Review editions.  Visit the website to download free of charge

Blue Economy Tunisia report announcement with mockup image of the report

Report: State of the art and future Development of Blue Economy – Tunisia

This report focuses on the ‘Sustainable Blue Economy’ in Tunisia’s maritime space, taking into consideration the traditional sectors and the emerging sectors, the main challenges and how it can enhance the tourism sector. The document is structured in 8 chapters.

  1. the concept of the Blue Economy and Tunisia’s maritime assets
  2. the state of play of the blue economy sectors in Tunisia
  3. the government’s initiative to promote the Sustainable Blue Economy
  4. the main challenges for a Sustainable Blue Economy
  5. main legal measures taken to enhance the Sustainable Blue Economy
  6. the positive impact of the  Sustainable blue Economy on the tourism sector
  7. recommendations to have sustainable, inclusive, and smart growth of the blue sectors in Tunisia
  8. conclusions

Download your copy

report announcement poster with mockup of report

Report: Women in fisheries in the Mediterranean and Black Sea region: roles, challenges and opportunities

Source: FAO-GFCM website

Women play active roles throughout the fisheries value chain in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, including participating in pre-harvest activities like vessel and gear construction and maintenance, harvest activities both on board fishing vessels and from shore, and post-harvest activities such as sorting, cleaning, processing and marketing the catch, as well as in activities associated with running the fishing business, such as bookkeeping.

Furthermore, women are actively engaged throughout the region in fisheries research and fisheries administrations.

Despite the wide and varied roles played by women in fisheries, their contributions to the sector are often not captured in official statistics and can therefore go unrecognized, reinforcing existing gender inequalities and potentially leading to inadvertent discrimination.

At the same time, a lack of consideration of women working in the sector can also mean that their knowledge and experience is overlooked and not sufficiently profited from.

Recognizing the importance of taking the roles, needs and experiences of women into account when addressing social, economic and environmental issues related to the fishing sector, this study aims at narrowing research gaps in the region regarding gender and fisheries, as well as supporting the commitments of Mediterranean and Black Sea countries to promoting gender equality.

Download the report

 

 

 

Leonardo Manzari and Irene Alonso at UfM Stakeholder Conference 2024

WestMED goes full Mediterranean at the UfM stakeholder conference 2024

The WestMED Initiative actively participated in the 2nd UfM Blue Economy Stakeholder Conference, which took place in Athens on February 19 and 20, 2024.

Background
The WestMED Initiative follows up on the Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Declaration on the Blue Economy endorsed by the Union for Mediterranean (UfM) which took place on the 17 November 2015, inviting the participating countries to explore the added value and feasibility of appropriate maritime strategies at sub-regional level, and build on the experience of the 5+5 Dialogue.

In October 2016, Foreign Affairs Ministers from Algeria, France, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia encouraged further work on an initiative for the sustainable development of the blue economy, alongside the UfM Secretariat.

In the UfM Ministerial Declaration on Sustainable Blue Economy (2021), Ministers “welcome the successful completion of the launch of the ‘Initiative for the sustainable development of the blue economy in the western Mediterranean’ (WestMED)”, and “recognise both the WestMED initiative as successful examples of cooperation, focused on clear goals, priorities and measurable targets and as a catalyst for the development of sustainable blue economy projects in the region”.

The endorsing countries pursue the same priorities under the UfM Working Group and the WestMED Steering Committee: fostering the promotion of the blue economy, achieving a safer maritime space and improving the maritime governance.

Conference involvement
On the occasion of the 2nd UfM Blue Economy Stakeholder Conference, the WestMED Initiative assisted the UfM both in terms of organization and participation.

At  institutional level, the new WestMED Portuguese Co-Presidency represented by Ms. Marisa Lameiras da Silva, Director General for Maritime Policy in Portugal participated as one of the key speakers in the session of marine renewable energy, providing the success case of Portugal developing offshore energy and its potential replicability in the Mediterranean.

From the Commission side, Ms. Delilah Al Khudhairy, Director for Maritime Policy and Blue Economy, Mr. Christos Economou, Head of Unit for Maritime Regional Cooperation and Mr. Manuel Pleguezuelo, policy officer and WestMED coordinator from DG MARE, participated in numerous sessions showing a strong commitment to the sustainable blue economy in the Mediterranean. The same for Ms. Anja Detant (CINEA), as project manager of the WestMED Assistance Mechanism contract, who highlighted the WestMED Initiative and the award winning projects during the ‘Spotlights on Projects’ session.

At operational level, the WestMED Assistance Mechanism participated in different workshops as experts, moderators and rapporteurs, providing technical expertise. They also supported the UfM Secretariat behind-the-scenes in the development of the Conference.

The conference served as a crucial milestone to assess progress, discuss challenges, and engage the entire Mediterranean Sustainable Blue Economy Community in shaping further deliberations at political and practical level.

A concrete example of succesful cooperation beyond the western Mediterranean was the MoU signed during the conference among the Tunisian and Greek Maritime Clusters  (with groundwork through the WestMED Cluster Alliance) to further boost the blue economy between the western and eastern Mediterranean.

 

Anja Detant at UfM conference 2024

Samir Bachouche-and Manuel Pleguezuelo at UfM Conference 2024

Manuel Pleguezuelo at UfM Conference 2024

Thanos Smanis, Isabelle Perret, Christos Economou at the UfM Stakeholder Conference 2024

UfM stakeholder Conference - speakers with thumbs up

Photos: copyright UfM secretariat

report cover IEMED study 2024

Report: Infrastructures, energy and digitalisation: pillars for the sustainable development of transport in the Western Mediterranean

With the Russian aggression on Ukraine and the war in Gaza being prolonged over time, the Mediterranean region at large is in total turmoil.

The Policy Study entitled “Infrastructures, energy and digitalisation, pillars for the sustainable development of transport in the Western Mediterranean” aims at contributing with shared reflections and formulation of policy proposals to the challenges and strategies that the region faces in the field of promoting sustainable development in the transport sector.

To this end, the Policy Study delves into this topic from these three cross-cutting dimensions in the Western Mediterranean: infrastructures, energy and environment, and digitalisation.

The European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed) and the Centre for Transportation Studies for the Western Mediterranean (CETMO) have taken on this stimulating task by continuing for a third year the preparation of a Policy Study that involves various authors who are experts in the field, while also unveiling some recommendations of public policy addressed to the Presidency of the Group of Transport Ministers for the Western Mediterranean (GTMO 5+5).

Indeed, this publication released as a Policy Study comes within the framework of the Med Think 5+5 network of Western Mediterranean think tanks, a multidisciplinary platform of exchange associated with the 5+5 Dialogue, which brings together policymakers, practitioners and academics from the Western Mediterranean area.

Considering transport and logistics as one of the most relevant sectors to foster socio-economic development and regional integration in the Western Mediterranean, the Med Think 5+5 network has been committed to promoting debate and knowledge-sharing on the issue, building upon support and expertise of the CETMO as Technical Secretariat of the Group of Transport Ministers for the Western Mediterranean (GTMO 5+5).

As a matter of fact, the Med Think 5+5 convened seminars (2018, 2021) dedicated to the analysis of trends in the Western Mediterranean transport and logistics sectors, organised back-to-back with the GTMO 5+5. In this context, this Policy Study, which is part of the work programme of GTMO 5+5 under the Maltese presidency, aims at giving response to the challenges posed by climate change in the region and how the transport sector can counter it and adapt to it through digitalisation, the transformation and connection of transport with infrastructures and energy.

Download the report

Source: IEMED website

event announcement poster

WestMED national event on Green Shipping in Algeria

On February 12, 2024, the Algerian National Hub of the WestMED Initiative, in coordination with the Ministry of Fisheries and Fisheries Production, organized their national event focused on on ‘Green Shipping in Algeria.’ This took place in Oran, Algeria.

The event was embedded in a two day international workshop organised by Power4Med – an EMFAF* funded project that supports operators of smaller ships and marinas on the path towards carbon neutrality

The event brought together over 80 participants and representatives from various sectors, including government bodies, industry experts, academics, students, and international researchers.

It focused on strategies for green shipping and ports in Algeria as well as the Western Mediterranean region as a whole, emphasizing best practices, innovative technologies, and policy frameworks that contribute to a more sustainable and prosperous maritime sector. The event also raised awareness about the WestMED Initiative and its relevance to Algeria, while fostering dialogue and collaboration among stakeholders in developing a sustainable blue economy.

During the event, speakers shared insights and experiences on the advantages and opportunities of green shipping, highlighting the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a fuel for bunkering ships. They also discussed the new regulations of the International Maritime Organization, which have significantly reduced sulfur content in marine fuels, leading to a cleaner and greener maritime environment.

Algeria’s experience in developing green shipping and ports was showcased, emphasizing its potential as a catalyst for the development of the blue economy in the country. The event provided a platform to exchange knowledge and experiences among West Mediterranean countries, including an overview of the work done by the Green Shipping Technical Group created under the WestMED Initiative and coordinated by WestMED’s Italian National Hub.

Financing opportunities and partnerships with the European Union were also explored, underlining the support offered to SMEs, research institutes, academia and authorities by the WestMED Assistance Mechanism and their respective National Hubs. The event encouraged stakeholders to identify financing mechanisms that would match their project idea(s)  and to collaborate with regional and international partners to accelerate the transition to a sustainable blue economy.

The event’s outcomes were highly impactful, with increased awareness among stakeholders about the opportunities and challenges of developing a sustainable blue economy in Algeria. The discussions on green shipping and ports provided valuable insights into best practices and innovative technologies, paving the way for enhanced environmental performance and efficiency in the maritime sector.

As we move forward, the event strengthened collaboration and partnerships among stakeholders, both at the national and international levels. The commitment to implement concrete actions and initiatives to promote a sustainable blue economy in Algeria has been reaffirmed, ensuring a brighter and greener future for our maritime industry.

* European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund

 

Visit the event webpage for the background and the agenda of this event with the respective speakers.

Contact the National Hub Algeria Samir Bachouche for more information or support with your project: algeria@westmed-initiative.ec.europa.eu

 

 

 

announcement poster GFCM-WestMED aquaculture event at SIPA 2024 in Oran, Algeria

Joint FAO/GFCM-WestMED event during SIPA2024 on Climate Change Resilient Aquaculture

On February 11, 2024, the GFCM Scientific Committee on Aquaculture (CAQ), organized a workshop in close cooperation with WestMED Algeria on Climate Change, Resilient Aquaculture, and Mitigation Strategies. This event took place during the International Fisheries and Aquaculture exhibition (SIPA Algerie 2024), in Oran Algeria

The workshop started with opening remarks, setting the stage for discussions on aquaculture in the Mediterranean basin in the context of climate change.

Esteemed speakers shared their insights, beginning with Rita Lecci from the Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC) Foundation in Italy, who highlighted the relationship between aquaculture and climate change. The presentation emphasized the need for sustainable aquaculture development to promote a resilient blue economy in the region.

Samir Bachouche, representing the national hub of the WestMED Initiative in Algeria, shed light on the importance of sustainable aquaculture in the Western Mediterranean and its contribution to a sustainable blue economy and highlighted the workk of WestMED thematic stakeholder group on aquaculture: AquaWest. Javier Ojeda from the Federation of European Aquaculture Producers (FEAP) shared European fish farmers’ perspectives on climate change, providing valuable insights into the challenges they face.

The workshop then delved into innovative tools and strategies to address climate change challenges in aquaculture. Alessio Bonaldo from the University of Bologna in Italy presented strategies for climate change mitigation and adaptation in aquaculture, emphasizing the need for innovative approaches. Curzio Pagliari, also from the University of Bologna, discussed the use of green propulsion systems for more sustainable aquaculture, highlighting the importance of reducing environmental impact.

Jose Diaz Salinas of Skretting, Norway, joined the discussion online and addressed the feed challenge in aquaculture in the face of climate change. His insights shed light on the importance of sustainable and efficient feed production practices.

In the afternoon session, the focus shifted to climate change resilient farming systems. Soufiane Bensalem from the University Kasdi Merbah Ouargla Salem in Algeria presented Saharan aquaculture as a model of farming resilient to climate change. Elisa Ravagnan from NORCE, Norway, explored the concept of integrated multi-tropic aquaculture as a potential solution for climate change resilience. Enric Gisbert from the Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology (IRTA), Spain, shared insights into a saltwater aquaponics system for mullet and Salicornia production.

The workshop concluded with a fruitful discussion among participants, addressing the challenges and opportunities of climate change resilient aquaculture. The insights gained from the workshop will contribute to the development of effective mitigation strategies and promote sustainable aquaculture practices in the Mediterranean basin.

Visit the event webpage for more information on the background and the agenda

Contact the WestMED National Hub Algeria (Samir Bachouche) for more information: algeria@westmed-initiative.ec.europa.eu

 

Here’s a videoclip from Samir Bachouche during the event:

 

People posing in a conference room at the occasion of signing an MoU between Greek and Tunisia maritime clusters cluster signing with people

Tunisia and Greece join forces on the Sustainable Blue Economy in the Mediterranean

A new strategic agreement between Greek and Tunisian maritime clusters represents an official gateway to boost the blue economy between the western and eastern Mediterranean.

On 19 February 2024,  During the 2nd Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Stakeholders Conference in Athens, the  Cluster Maritime Tunisien (CMT) and  Greek Strategis Maritime ICT Cluster (SMICT), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a systemic collaboration framework for common projects and initiatives.

The Cluster Maritime Tunisien is a non-profit organisation created in March 2019. Its objective is to secure the interests of all activities in the maritime and sea sectors in Tunisia. This maritime cluster also aims to re-establish international relations, create blue-economy lobbying and chart a sustainable  strategy in all maritime sectors by strengthening links between the North and the South of the Mediterranean. The CTM is represented by its founder president, Captain Ezzeddine Kacem.

Strategis Maritime ICT Cluster was established in December 2016 as a private, non-profit organisation with the vision of becoming a world-class maritime cluster & technology flagship of the Greek Shipping industry. Its mission is to create innovative business ecosystems in digital shipping and the blue economy, expand the competitive advantage of Green shipping and contribute to the sustainable development of the marine and maritime sectors in south-east Europe and the Mediterranean. SMICT is represented by its founder and managing director, Dr. Gregory Yovanof.

The MoU is based on the principles of cooperation by strengthening and expanding networking opportunities between both clusters as well as collaborating in initiatives and alliances on innovation and internalisation of blue economy in a broader sense. The exchange of information,  knowledge and collaborative innovation ideas, is another key pillar of this joint initiative.

Maritime clusters are pivotal in implementing the Blue Economy agenda in the Mediterranean. They are essential actors in aggregating local SMEs and large companies across a range of sectors in the blue economy, including through synergies with enterprises involved in in-land activities across complex value chains.

In this context, the WestMED Initiative has facilitated cluster cooperation in the maritime sectors and will continue to support this through the WestMED Maritime Clusters Alliance. A clear opportunity exists for the WestMED Initiative to further help build stronger alliances between the most active Maritime Clusters in the western Mediterranean, and beyond.