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Take part in the Seabed 2030 survey – closes end of April

Source: NLA International on behalf of Seabed 2030

Last year NLA International Ltd working on behalf of Seabed 2030, launched an online survey to find out more about the status and potential of mapping the ocean floor. The survey collected views from across all interested sectors to help us better understand issues such as:

  • Why stakeholders feel it is important to map the seabed.
  • How interested parties are estimating the environmental, social and economic value of seabed mapping.
  • Where are the most urgent priorities for seabed mapping.

All of this will help us to corroborate – or challenge – existing thinking, and hopefully identify any areas of the seabed that may benefit from a more joined-up / collaborative approach.

We have been really delighted with the responses thus far – we have received nearly 470 detailed responses to date – and are currently hard at work analysing the initial findings.

However, it is not too late to have your say! We will be keeping the survey open until the end of April, and we would be very grateful if you could contribute your views.

To access the survey, please click here.

More information

Read the article: Marine Geospatial Data: the Cornerstone of the Blue Eonomy

Read more about the seabed 2030 Initiuative:  100% of Ocean Floor mapped by 2030

screenshot factsheet renewed partnership

A new agenda for the Mediterranean: the Council approves conclusions on a renewed partnership with the Southern Neighbourhood

Press release:  Council of the EU

The Council approved conclusions affirming the EU’s determination to renew and strengthen its strategic partnership with its Southern Neighbourhood. The objective is to address common challenges, take advantage of shared opportunities and unlock the region’s economic potential for the benefit of its people.

Spurring sustainable long-term socio-economic recovery and job creation in the Southern Neighbourhood is a key shared priority and the innovative cornerstone of the new Agenda for the Mediterranean. Working together, the EU and its Southern Neighbourhood partners can turn climate and environmental challenges, and digital transformation, into major opportunities for sustainable development, contributing to a just and inclusive green transition. The EU will use all its available instruments, including the NDICI-Global Europe and the European Fund for Sustainable Development plus (EFSD+), and engage with financial institutions to achieve this objective, paying particular attention to the human dimension and opportunities for young people.

Good governance, the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, democratic institutions and the rule of law are also considered to be essential for long-term stability, security and sustainable development in the region. The EU will step up its engagement on these issues, and renew its efforts on conflict prevention and resolution, as well as on cooperation on security, migration and the preparedness and response capacities of healthcare systems.

The EU intends to strengthen the political dialogue across the Mediterranean by setting up annual meetings of EU member states’ and Southern Neighbourhood partners’ foreign ministers to review progress in the implementation of the new Agenda for the Mediterranean.

Read more on the EU Councils press release webpage

poster conférence virtuelle

WestMED National Event Morocco 2020

Economie Bleue Quels défis, opportunités et priorités pour le Maroc ?

Objet de la réunion :

  •  Présenter l’initiative WestMED, ces objectifs, priorités et les opportunités qu’elle propose.
  • Grouper le réseau de l’initiative et discuter les priorités de l’initiative au niveau du Maroc.

Principaux  Points abordés Synthèse des principaux points abordés.

Présentation de l’Initiative
Le hub national (M. Malouli Mohamed idrissi) a présenté l’initiative WestMED, ces objectifs, priorités, et les hubs nationaux des différents pays partenaires et de l’équipe interne du Mécanisme d’assistance. Après le hub national a donné la parole au coordinateur national de l’initiative au Maroc (M. Bourhim Aomar) et le coordinateur national de l’Italie (M. Daniele Bosio).

Discussion sur la création du Cluster Maritime marocain 
La discussion a débuté par la présentation de M. Bakhalek Mustapha (USAID-Maroc) sur la tentative de création du cluster maritime marocain en 2013 et l’importance de la création de ce cluster aujourd’hui. M. Kacem Ezzedine (président du cluster maritime tunisien) a présenté l’expérience tunisienne dans la création du cluster maritime et son organisation. Et M. Leonardo (hub national de l’Italie) a présenté l’expérience italienne dans la création du cluster maritime et le rôle que peut jouer en terme de coopération.

Transport maritime  
Mme El Amrani Sanae(MTPNET) a exposé l’importance du transport Maritime mondial et au niveau du Maroc et a présenté l’intérêt du Maroc pour l’utilisation du GNL et ses avantages en expliquant les difficultés qu’il faut régler comme la logistique et la mise en œuvre du code gazier.

M. Mansouri Amine (ANDA) a exposé l’importance de l’aquaculture au Maroc et son potentiel ainsi que son rôle dans la création de richesse et d’emploi, tout en précisant quelle est l’un des secteurs prioritaires de l’économie bleue au Maroc.

Opportunités de financement
M.  Herpes Frederick (Hub national-France) a présenté le rôle du mécanisme d’assistance dans la veille sur les opportunités de financement, et les opportunités qui sont actuellement ouvertes tels que Horizon 2020.

Planification spatiale
Mma Bensmail Laila a présenté les recommandations nationales pour la mise en place de la planification spatiale maritime au niveau du Maroc.

Discussion générale
Plusieurs questions ont été soulevées par les participants principalement sur :

  • La création et l’organisation des clusters maritimes et leurs rôles dans le développement de l’économie bleue.
  • Les opportunités de financement et comment y accéder.

Pour cela le hub national marocain a énoncé qu’un atelier sera organiser par l’initiative pour former les parties prenantes à comment utiliser les plateformes de financement, chercher des partenaires, et monter leurs propositions de projet en adéquation avec les directives demandées par les fonds ciblés.


Sustainability of marine resources and preservation of biodiversity: Morocco on the path to a Blue Economy

This article was first published on MSP Global 2030 website.

A boat on a beach

Thirty Moroccan representatives gathered in Rabat (Morocco) on 27-28 November 2019 for the first MSPglobal national training course in the country, where they gained new knowledge, shared experience and considered next steps for Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) and the Sustainable Blue Economy.

This first inter-institutional meeting allowed stakeholders ranging from government agencies, law enforcement, academia and research to sit around the table to discuss coordination and process for MSP and the Sustainable Blue Economy.

Important questions were raised, such as the main drivers of implementation of MSP in the country, the expected social, economic and ecological benefits, as well as the obstacles/constraints for a correct MSP implementation: data, mapping and institutional coordination on national and international legislation.

Nevertheless, while MSP in Morocco is still at an early stage, the potentials and advantages of applying it are evident and were broadly recognized by the participants.

“MSP is a formidable regulatory tool that will help us to develop a blue economy through the optimal use of marine and coastal areas – by limiting conflicts of use, regulating new space requirements, while preserving ecosystems,” explained Laila Bensmail from the Department of Maritime Fisheries. “Our biggest problem is urgency. Maritime activities are increasing and there is an urgent need to implement MSP at national and regional level.”

With the support of the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the MSP Challenge game was used to simulate a planning process between three fictitious countries, during which participants were asked to define the vision, objectives, indicators, actions and stakeholders for short and long-term.

It helped to highlight issues that occur in real life during the planning process and triggered some deep discussions among participants. This training gave them more incentive to work collaboratively to develop their plans.

“These two days of training were very constructive. We have learned a lot about MSP and also put forward recommendations that can be applied in the national maritime space,” said Aomar Bourhim, Moroccan WestMED Coordinator and MSPglobal Focal Point in Morocco.

These included the establishment of marine protected areas to preserve living resources and habitats in the marine environment; more investment in renewable energy; the implementation of incentives for innovative projects linked to the blue economy and respectful of the environment; the creation of an interdisciplinary governance structure dedicated to MSP for the good governance of maritime activities and uses at sea; and awareness-raising campaigns on MSP among the private sector and the general public.

The course was co-organized with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forests. It will contribute to the development of a regional roadmap for transboundary MSP and Sustainable Blue Economy in the West Mediterranean, in line with the WestMED Initiative.


The documents and the original article are available at:

More information on MSP Global 2030 at

Réunion d’évaluation de la feuille de route de l’initiative OuestMED

Une panoplie de représentants des principales entités liées à l’économie bleue a participé à la réunion d’évaluation de l’état d’avancement de la feuille de route de l’initiative pour le développement durable de l‘économie bleue en Méditerranée occidentale OuestMED/WestMED, tenue au Centre Régional de l’Institut National de Recherche Halieutique à Tanger le 10 octobre 2019.

Les participants ont exprimé leur grand intérêt aux actions et activités développées et en cours de réalisation par l’Initiative. Les départements qui ont participé à cet événement important sont : la Marine Royale, la Gendarmerie Royale, le Département de la Pêche Maritime, l’Agence Nationale des Ports, le Ministère de l’équipement, l’Institut Supérieur des Etudes Maritimes, le Département de l’Environnement, l’Institut National de Recherche Halieutique, le Département du tourisme, le Ministère des Affaires Etrangères et de la Coopération, l’Institut Agronomique et vétérinaire Hassan II de Rabat et l’Agence Nationale de Développent Aquacole.

Les opportunités au sein de l’initiative et le rôle du Hub National dans l’appui des projets marocains dans les appels d’offre européens ont été expliqués par le Hub National et le Coordinateur National de l’initiative. Une liste des projets en cours de préparation dans le cadre de l’initiative OuestMED a été présenté par le Hub National tout en invitant les partenaires marocains à s’impliquer davantage dans les différents projets.

More than 100 stakeholders at the WestMED Workshop Agadir

A WestMED workshop was held at the Salon Halieutis, in the 22th February 2019. It was attended by more than a hundred persons coming from private and public sectors, fishermen, fishery Department, students, and other blue economy stakeholders. The event aimed to promote and to present the WestMed Initiative and its implementation in Morocco.

The opening of the workshop was conducted by Mr. Yassine el Arroussi, representing the Moroccan Fishery Department. He welcomed the participants and thanked the EU Delegation in Morocco and the National Hub of France, for their participation in the workshop. He mentioned the major objectives of the Westmed initiative and recalled that it represents a part of the Moroccan blue economy strategy, initiated by the blue belt Initiative launched by Morocco during the COP22 of the Climate Change.

Mr. Didier Nils, head of the Cooperation section, Delegation of the European Union in Morocco, explained that the WestMED Initiative is a large scale program and that the EU in general as well as its Delegation in Rabat are fully supporting this Initiative. He also recalled the strengths of the region in the blue economy sector and the challenges facing the development of the region. He encouraged to benefit from all available funds.

Mr. Aomar Bourhim, Moroccan WestMed coordinator, recalled that the workshop is part of a series of workshops that were already held to promote WestMed Initiative in Morocco. He also presented the countries and the partners involved in the Initiative. In his speech, he also evoked the context and the history of the initiative and its importance for the sustainable development.

Mr. Mohammed Malouli Idrissi, Moroccan National Hub, recalled the priorities for action adopted according the Algiers Declaration, the priority actions for Morocco and the objectives of the Initiative and their related goals. He also drew up the roles and objectives of the assistance mechanism, in particular the National Hub. And finally, he presented a list of possible funds.

Mr. Herpers, French National Hub, clarified that the WestMED Initiative is part of a pro-active cooperation logic that aims to support the development of the blue economy. He explained the organization of the Assistance Mechanism, the National Hubs mission, and enounced that the steering committee is now studying the feasibility of labeling projects related to the Initiative priorities to support them while applying in European calls. He mentioned the project ideas that followed the lab activities in Algiers conference.

At the end of the event, the participants asked some questions about future projects and the possibility of integrating these projects. Explanations were given by the panelists.

Besides the organization of the workshop, the assistance mechanism was, since the beginning of Halieutis Salon present and continuously active at the EU Delegation stand, in order to promote the Initiative and the opportunities it provides. As a result, Mr. Ayman Jghab, Moroccan National Hub assistant, conducted more than twenty meeting with professionals, entrepreneurs, public institutions representatives, and blue economy stakeholders.