front cover of financing opportunities guide for the green transition of fisheries and aquaculture 2023

Energy Transition Partnership & Financing Report

The new guide on financing opportunities for the Green Energy Transition of Fisheries and Aquaculture is out!

The guide is set to support the sectors through EU funding under the 2021-2027 financial framework and NextGenerationEU. The comprehensive guide aims to elucidate diverse funding options for the energy transition by targeting a broad audience, including enterprises, public administrations, research institutions, and civil society organisations. It distinguishes itself by offering a tailored approach, swiftly aiding stakeholders in identifying and assessing applicable EU funding sources. Covering areas like vessel innovation, energy-efficient gear, and aquaculture management, the guide complements existing European Commission tools and undergoes regular updates to incorporate newly identified funds.

All information can be found in the Energy Transition Partnership

sun.blue.23.award.winners with marta.pascual.westmed.spain

WestMED Initiative receives internationalization award at the Sun and Blue Congress 2023

This year marked the first edition of the Sun&Blue Congress; an international conference and exhibition focused on Blue Tourism Innovation. It took place in Almería, Spain from 15-17 November 2023.

Marta Pascual (WestMED National Hub Spain) has been very much involved in both the preparation of this event, as part of the Technical Committee, as well well as its execution. She organised and participated in multiple workshops to promote and facilitate the sustainable Blue Economy within the tourism sector.

The WestMED Iniatiative was given a special Award Mention for having helped on the Internationalization of the entire SUN&BLUE Congress. Also the ‘Maritime Tourism’project, supported by the WestMED Initiative was awarded with a special mention award for Sustainability

This conference provided an excellent platform to promote the WestMED Intiative within the tourism sector resulting in numerous requests for support. It also resulted in  a major step forward regarding the creation of a National Marine Tourism Network and led to a  first encounter with the city of CEUTA authorities as a basis for possible follow-up.

Here is an overview of the different WestMED  Sun&Blue events:

Turismo Marinero (16 November 2023)
Within the framework of WestMED, and more specifically from its Spanish National Hub, work is done to establish a National Maritime Tourism Network. Its main objective is to promote sustainable maritime tourism and the diversification of fishing activity towards other activities that promote the economic development of coastal and marine areas when, for various reasons, they cannot carry out their fishing activity.

This network seeks to diversify fishing activities to promote authentic and environmentally friendly experiences. By doing so, it is intended to contribute to local economic development, the conservation of marine ecosystems and the promotion of fishing culture and tradition in the Western Mediterranean region. Hand in hand with this important initiative of the European Commission, we will learn about the importance of maritime tourism and all the development it is having at the European and national level.

This session served to present 3 examples of Spanish companies and/or initiatives around Maritime Tourism with Pablo Mariño (Bluscus); Shonia Cruz (La Mar Consultoras-LMC) and Inmaculada Torres (GALPEMUR). This to understand what they offer and what opportunities and barriers they have encountered when developing their activities.

LinkedIn post 1

WestMED Initiative presentation
This presentation kicked off with explaining to a large audience what the WestMED Initiative is, what the work areas are and the activities carried out so far. Also opportunities for collaboration and financing for blue economy were elaborated on.

After the presentation a number of participants approached Mrs. Pascual to inquire about support for their project ideas. The most concrete ones are currently being followed through to assess needs and possibilities.

Blue Breakfast session (17 November 2023)
This was an invitation only event attended by public and private organisations. After explaining the Initiative and  funding opportunities, Mrs Pascual provided direct guidance on where to find funding for their work and future interests. It also led to some project ideas that are currently being reviewed for further support by the National Hub.

Reunión / Workshop: Presentación Proyecto de “Red Nacional de Turismo Marinero” (17 November 2023)
This private meeting/workshop brought together the main fishing political agents (MAPA), national fishing agents, local Fishing Action Groups (FLAGs), fishermen’s federations, fishermen’s guilds, fresh fish producer organizations, companies of marine tourism and foundations related to marine tourism. At the meeting, the idea/project of creating a National Marine Tourism Network, its vision, objectives, values, lines of action, activities, and governance proposals for said network were presented.

The meeting served as a starting point for the creation of this network and its subsequent presentation within the framework of the European WestMED Initiative as a good example and practice to potentially be replicated in other countries of the Western Mediterranean.

There will be a follow-up to create and launch of the Red Nacional Turismo Marinero in Spain, through bi-lateral discussions on each of the axes proposed for the network.

The meeting was exclusive for those in the field of marine tourism and required registration.

Exhibition stand
For the duration of the event, the WestMED exhibition stand drew many visitors to pick up a leaflet, watch the project video and inquire about possibilities.

Sun&Blue 2024
Next year’s event is already planned: 20-22 November 2024. Visit the Sun&Blue event website

Press coverage
This event has received a lot of press coverage like these articles in the national newspaper El Mundo and  La Voz de Almería.
Or this video on the opening from Ayuntamiento de Almería:

WestMED stand at Sun and Blue Congress 2023 with Marta Pascual talking to a visitor

Marta Pascual at the Sun and Blue Conference 2023 on stage

Turismo Marinero workshop by Marta Pascual with panbel on stage during SunandBlue 2023
Group picture of participants at Libya's first WestMED national stakeholder event 2023

Major Blue Economy Milestone in Libya with its First WestMED National Stakeholder Event

For the first time in the five years of Technical Assistance, the WestMED Assistance Mechanism experienced a national Blue Economy event in Libya on Nov 30th 2023. This was done upon the initiative of the National Coordinators, Mr Ali Shagruni and Ms Masauda Abuarosha, with  the organization and support by the National Project of Aquaculture and  the assistance from WestMED’s Italian National Hub.

With the aim of gathering the main stakeholders of the Blue Economy, the organizers could also rely on the participation of more than 60 operators in presence and of high level institutional representatives: the Deputy Minister of Marine Wealth, Saber Al Azzabi, the Deputy Head of EU Delegation to Libya, Horia Nagacevschi and the Deputy Ambassador of Italy to Libya, Riccardo Villa.

Qualified speakers for the main sectors of the Blue Economy could represent the current situation of the country in each field, also disclosing their potential role of participants to the WestMED Technical and Working Groups like Maritime Clusters Alliance, Green Shipping, Aquawest. Also participants from Italy and Tunisia, intensified the international meaning of this WestMED event, as a confirmation of the centrality of Libyan role in the Mediterranean basin.

Indeed, beside a remarkable and frank interaction on topics related to the fishery sector, the description of the opportunities represented by the Technical Assistance provided by WestMED Assistance Mechanism and those EU funded programmes accessible for Libyan stakeholders, was an important point to encourage stakeholders to join partnerships and project proposals.

This becomes a fundamental way to increase the inclusion of Libyan organizations in the Mediterranean ecosystem: the successful examples of projects like REBUILD, TAMSALL, POWER4MED, MAWEGO were mentioned.

In this perspective, the participation of HORIZON EUROPE’s National Contact Point for Libya was also an added value for liaising with raising opportunities of partnership in the coming months.

It was commonly perceived the impression that, in this phase, a more intense stakeholders’ engagement from the WestMED Assistance Mechanism could easily produce fruitful results, given the very strong expectations of Libyan stakeholders towards all forms of EU support.

 

Presenting at the Libyan westmed national event 2023

Horia Nagacevschi, Head of EU Delegation to Libya presenting at Libya's first national westmed stakeholder event 2023

Masauda Abuarosha and Ezzedine Kacem at the Libyan national westmed event 2023

participants in conference room at the WestMED National event in Libya 2023

banner of Libya WestMED national event 2023

 

 

Salem Miladi, WestMED National Hub Tunisia presenting at the BlueMissionMED national Hub launch 2023

WestMED Tunisie souligne les complémentarités lors du lancement du Hub national tunisien BlueMissionMed

Le Hub National WestMED Tunisie a assisté aujourd’hui 5 décembre au lancement du Hub National Tunisien BlueMissionMed et dont la mission est de restaurer notre océan et notre milieu aquatique.

Même s’il s’agit d’un mal universel, la pollution marine affecte plus sévèrement la Méditerranée, mer semi-fermée, bassin de concentration et ne représentant qu’à peine 1% de la superficie de l’Océan Mondial.

Et, à l’instar de toutes les côtes méditerranéennes, le littoral tunisien subit une grande pression urbaine, touristique et industrielle qui augmente le risque de pollution.

Prenant la parole à la première session consacrée à la pollution marine M. Salem Miladi a présenté le projet Westmed, ses objectifs et ses priorités dans le cadre de la protection de l’environnement et d’une croissance durable.

Il a présenté les groupes techniques et de réflexions et il a insisté sur la nécessité d’une synergie entre les deux projets européens avec l’organisation ensemble de rencontres et éventuelles événements nationaux.

La deuxième session a concerné l’implication des gestionnaires, des PME et de la société civile dans la lutte contre la pollution marine.

Enfin un tour  de table  a été organisé pour discuter principalement de la mise en place d’un Hub National, de la méthodologie de travail, de l’ échéancier des dates clés et de l’organisation des groupes de travail par pilier.

Pour plus d’informations, contactez Salem Miladi (Hub National Tunisie) ou visitez la page de WestMED sur la Tunisie.

Group of people at the Blue Mediterranean partnership agreement signing at COP28

Blue Mediterranean Partnership steps up support for sustainable blue economy

EIB, EBRD, UfM, EC, AFD, CDP, KfW, donors and beneficiary countries sign cooperation agreement at COP28

  • Blue Mediterranean Partnership to support transition to a sustainable blue economy in the Mediterranean region
  • Partnership to start operating in early 2024
  • Partners aim to mobilise at least €1 billion in investments

At COP28, partners and donors involved in the Blue Mediterranean Partnership reinforced their support for developing the sustainable blue economy in the southern Mediterranean region. The parties involved signed a letter of intent to make their participation in the Partnership official and to make the Partnership operational in early 2024.

The Blue Mediterranean Partnership aims to tackle the threats the Mediterranean Sea faces by coordinating the financing of blue economy projects in the Mediterranean and Red Sea regions, focusing initially on Egypt, Jordan and Morocco.

Through a new multi-donor fund managed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Blue Mediterranean Partnership seeks to secure additional funding from sovereign donors for project preparation and blended finance. Today in Dubai, the European Commission announced a contribution of €1 million, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) contributed SEK 75 million (€6.5 million), and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) announced a  €2 million contribution. In the coming months, Germany and Spain are also expected to announce donations, with additional donors to follow.

The European Investment Bank (EIB), AFD, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) and the EBRD – will act as implementing financial institutions and cooperate to co-finance blue economy projects, which will benefit from the grants provided by the Partnership, mobilising also existing financial resources provided by the European Commission through the Neighbourhood Investment Platform and the European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus (EFSD+).

Lastly, the beneficiary countries (Egypt, Jordan and Morocco) will lead on identifying strategic blue economy projects in their territories, while the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) will act as facilitator of the political and regulatory dialogue.

Read the full article on the website of the EIB

EU and Neighbourhood countries commit to enhanced fisheries management control in the Mediterranean and Black Sea

Among the main measures, the EU and neighbouring countries agreed within the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) to launch new tools to keep track of the activities of all fleets fishing in the Mediterranean and the Black Seas and sharing the various multiannual management plans (MAPs). The new mechanism will follow up on cases of non-compliance through appropriate and proportionate measures. To consolidate joint efforts in the Mediterranean and make sure the measures deliver on the ground, a European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) patrol vessel will be deployed permanently still this year.

At the 46th annual meeting of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), which took place between 6-10 November in Split, the EU and neighbouring countries agreed to reinforce the level playing field in control and management of fisheries in the Mediterranean and the Black Seas. This is a key step in ensuring that all operators involved in fisheries follow the same standards, based on the principles of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

Thanks to the efforts of the EU and more than 12 other coastal states, the GFCM unanimously adopted a total of 34 shared measures. The EU will support the implementation of the measures and the GFCM 2030 Strategy with an annual grant of €8 million.

Measures for increased sustainability and biodiversity protection

The measures agreed at the GFCM meeting will bring about the following positive impacts in the Mediterranean and Black Sea: 

  • More sustainability through traceability: The traceability of fisheries products is essential to fighting illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) practices. New catch documentation schemes for red coral in the Mediterranean and for turbot in the Black Sea will help to identify the origin of fish products, ensuring better conservation of these iconic species.
  • Decarbonisation as an answer to energy crises and pollution: the GFCM will be the first regional fisheries management organisation to establish a permanent working group and to adopt a roadmap for the decarbonisation of fishing activities. This working group will identify actions to promote a more resilient sector against energy crises, a reduction of the carbon footprint and studies to assess the impact of the fishing gear on the seabed.
  • Sustainable management of common dolphinfish through a new multiannual plan: The GFCM approved a new multiannual management plan (MAP) for common dolphinfish in the Mediterranean Sea. The MAP is based on a joint EU-Tunisia proposal, the main players in this fishery. The goal of the MAP and the associated inspection scheme is to maintain this iconic species with high commercial value at sustainably managed levels.
  • Protection of sensitive species and marine habitats: Following the EU’s lead, the GFCM adopted a strategy to protect vulnerable species and launched an Observatory for non-indigenous species. The fisheries organisation started pilot studies to assess the potential extension of the bottom trawling ban to waters closer to the surface, down to 800 metres.

The GFCM also consolidated the existing measures under the multiannual management plan for European eel. Long-term measures will be determined next year, based on the results of a regional research program.

Keeping the measures of previous years, the GFCM decided to reinforce the fisheries restricted area (FRA) in the Gulf of Lion. EU, Morocco and Algeria also agreed to implement a FRA in the Cabliers Mound.

Next steps

The Council of the European Union will discuss and establish the GFCM’s fishing opportunities-related measures for the Mediterranean and the Black Sea in a meeting taking place on 11 and 12 December.

Background

The General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) is a regional fisheries management organisation established under the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. It plays a critical role in fisheries governance and has the authority to make binding recommendations for fisheries conservation and management and for aquaculture development. Its membership comprises the EU, 19 Mediterranean states and three Black Sea states.

With the political commitment and close cooperation of all parties and stakeholders, and with the EU taking a lead role, the organisation is actively working to strengthen the new fisheries governance established with the MedFish4Ever and Sofia Ministerial Declarations, to reverse overfishing, ensure the protection of marine ecosystems and the resilience and profitability of the fishing and aquaculture sector. All decisions and achievements are based on the renewed commitments of the MedFish4Ever Ministerial Declaration.

For More Information

GFCM 2030 Strategy | General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean – GFCM | Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (fao.org)

Management plans | General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean – GFCM | Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (fao.org)

Une nouvelle feuille de route du secteur des pêches et de l’économie maritime en Mauritanie

Le Ministre des Pêches et de l’Economie Maritime Monsieur Moktar Al Housseynou LAM a ouvert vendredi 01 décembre 2023 à Hôtel MauriCenter à Nouakchott un atelier de concertation de deux jours, portant sur la feuille de route relative à la relance du secteur des pêches et de l’économie maritime.

Lors de son mot d’ouverture, le Ministre des Pêches a souligné que son département cherche, à travers cette activité, à examiner les meilleurs moyens d’assurer la durabilité des ressources et d’étudier d’autres sujets liés à l’environnement d’incubation de ces ressources, à leurs systèmes d’exploitation, à leurs rendements économiques et sociaux ainsi qu’aux solutions les plus efficaces pour leur gestion.
Il a mis en exergue l’importance du secteur et sa contribution aux revenus du Trésor et aux réserves de devises fortes du pays, en plus de la création d’opportunités d’emploi, à la lutte contre la pauvreté et à l’amélioration de la sécurité alimentaire.

Le Ministre des pêches a rappelé que la ressource halieutique est une ressource renouvelable et propriété des générations actuelles et futures et demeure du devoir de l’État de la préserver en renforçant les modes d’exploitation qui garantissent le renouvellement du stock et maintiennent l’équilibre de ses écosystèmes.

La cérémonie a connu la participation des Ministres de Finances, de l’Emploi et de la Formation professionnelle, de quelques conseillers de la Présidence de la République, de du Premier ministère, plusieurs experts nationaux et étrangers, des représentants des organisations socioprofessionnelles et de la société civile et la presse publique et privée.

Article du Ministere des pêches et de l’Economie Maritime

 

screenshot cover report with young girl and a man at the controls of a machine

CLUSTER Policy Report – Blue economy as an opportunity for enhancing youth and women’s employment in the Mediterranean

 

Source: enicbcmed website

In a move towards addressing youth unemployment, the CLUSTER project published its policy report focusing on the Blue Economy (BE) in the Mediterranean. The report underscores the pivotal role of sustainable ocean resource management in creating employment opportunities, particularly for the youth and women in the region. These are its key findings:

  1. Youth Employment Potential: With over a million BE-related jobs available in the Mediterranean, the sector, encompassing Blue Growth and Blue Tech, emerges as a promising avenue for youth employment. Aquaculture, fisheries, and tourism are identified as key sectors.
  2. Barriers to Growth: The report outlines financing and skills development as major hurdles to the sector’s expansion.
  3. Career Opportunities: Diverse career opportunities within the Blue Economy are presented, emphasizing the encouraging outlook for youth employment.
  4. Gender Disparities: Despite women playing pivotal roles in certain blue sectors, gender disparities persist, especially in maritime fields.

The policy report advocates for an action plan targeting regional policymakers to implement inclusive youth employment schemes in the Blue Economy sectors. Key strategies include substantial investment in blue careers and skills, leveraging European funding programs, and adapting learning schemes to modern needs.

Read the full report here.

COP28: European Commission commits €1 million to Blue Mediterranean Partnership

On Saturday 2 December, at the Blue Mediterranean Partnership’s pledging conference, the European Commission committed to pledge €1 million to the recently established Blue Mediterranean Partnership.

This collaborative initiative is designed to catalyse sustainable blue economy investments in the non-EU countries of the Mediterranean region, with a focus on the Southern Neighbourhood. It is spearheaded by the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and the EU, through the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

The partnership’s priority areas include plastic waste reduction, coastal resilience investments, sustainable tourism, wastewater treatment, circular economy, and marine biodiversity.

Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries emphasised the importance of financial commitments, stating

« Political commitment is one thing, but financial commitment takes things to another level, because we need investments to develop the economy, especially if we want to make sure that all sectors and activities develop sustainably, so that our seas and ocean can keep providing for future generations. »

The Blue Mediterranean Partnership aims at obtaining new financial resources fromsovereigndonors, channelled through a new multi-donor fund,administered by EBRD, bringing together:

–  key implementing partners such as the European Commission and its financial institutions (EBRD and EIB), UfM, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) and Cassa Depositi e Prestiti

(CDP),

beneficiary countries (Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco) and

donors (European Commission, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency

, AFD).

Its primary objective is to tackle the threats faced by the Mediterranean Sea by coordinating the financing of sustainable blue economy projects located in the Mediterranean and Red Sea region, focusing initially on Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco.

At the pledging conference, donors, including the European Commission, made formal statements and announced their respective pledges, with the European Commission contributing

In the next months, announcements of additional donations are anticipated from Germany and Spain, with additional donors to follow.

More Information

Blue Mediterranean Partnership steps up support for sustainable blue economy (ebrd.com)

2nd UfM Ministerial Declaration on Sustainable Blue Economy (2021)

Communication on a new approach to a sustainable blue economy

Renewed partnership with the Southern Neighbourhood – A new agenda for the Mediterranean

UfM Blue Finance Conference

COP28

 

Source: DG MARE website

announcement poster EMD 2024

Call for workshops for the European Maritime Days 2024

The Call for workshops for the EMD 2024 in Svendborg Denmark,  is now open!

The European Maritime Day (EMD) is the annual two-day event during which Europe’s maritime community meet to network, discuss and outline joint action on maritime affairs and sustainable blue economy.

Stakeholder workshops are at the core of the conference. Each workshop lasts 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Workshop organisers design and manage their own workshop.

For the EMD 2024, 18 high-quality workshops will be selected (with several workshops running in parallel).

All that is necessary is to fill in this form and submit your online application before 8 December 2023 at 17:00 CET.

The EMD is the place where ‘Ocean Leaders Meet’. It provides an engaging and completely interactive experience to catch up on the current state of play on a broad range of issues concerning the blue economy and the marine environment and to discuss ways of moving forward. It features a large number of inspirational speakers, thematic sessions, stakeholder workshops and pitch sessions organised by stakeholders and the European Commission. The EMD targets professionals from businesses, governments, public institutions, NGOs and academia as well as EU citizens interested in the sea.

European Maritime Day 2024 will take place in Svendborg, Denmark on 30 and 31 May 2024.

For more information, visit the EMD event website