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fishing boat-trawler with seagulls

Commission proposes fishing opportunities for 2024 in the Mediterranean and Black Seas

Today, the Commission adopted its proposal for fishing opportunities for 2024 for the Mediterranean and the Black Seas. The proposal promotes the sustainable management of fish stocks in the Mediterranean and the Black Seas and delivers on the political commitments made in the MedFish4Ever and Sofia Declarations.

The Commission proposes to use the same tools that were introduced in the 2022 and 2023 fishing opportunities, based on the latest available scientific advice. These tools include fishing effort for trawlers and longliners as well as catch limits for deep-water shrimps. These measures were established under the Western Mediterranean multiannual management plan (MAP) for demersal stocks, with the aim of reaching by 1 January 2025 at the latest the maximum sustainable yield (MSY), i.e., the maximum amount of fish that fishers can take out of the sea without compromising the regeneration and future productivity of the stock.

Most fishing opportunities will be proposed at a later stage, based on the results of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) annual session (6-10 November 2023) and the scientific advice for demersal stocks covered by the Western Mediterranean Multiannual Management Plan (MAP), which is expected towards the end of October.

In the Mediterranean Sea, the proposal keeps unchanged measures for red coral. For blackspot seabream and deep-water shrimps this year’s proposal continues a gradual reduction in catches for both species, in line with the newly agreed GFCM management plans from 2022. The proposal for common dolphinfish and other stocks with GFCM transitional measures that expire at the end of 2023 will be updated after the 2023 GFCM annual session.

Read the full press release on the EC website with additional information

group photo of people celebrating launch of EMFAF projects 2023

New EMFAF Regional flagship projects just kicked off their work!

Source: CINEA website

The EMFAF Regional flagships call, with a budget of EUR 7.6 million, focused on EU sea basins cooperation; in particular the Atlantic, the Black Sea, the Mediterranean, the Baltic Sea Region and the EU Outermost Regions. Ten new projects just kicked off.

Four projects are related to the Mediterranean: Green Marine Med, POWER4MED, CALLMEBLUE and the GreenMED. The first three projects received active assistance from the WestMED Assistance Mechanism in the application process.

GREEN MARINE MED  – Mediterranean Green Shipping Network: Linking Ports, Industries, Investment and Innovation for Monitoring and Technology Foresight on Green Shipping in the Mediterranean

GREEN MARINE MED will bring together, engage and mobilise the comprehensive Mediterranean Green Shipping stakeholder community, representing the full value chain including actors from the full vessel community, ports and marinas, fuel and energy, as well as finance, investment, innovation and other stakeholders. The comprehensive Network will create the foundation to enable the most broadly supported and useful Monitoring and Technology Foresight on Mediterranean Green Shipping.

Duration: 24 months – EU contribution: EUR 932 469.91

 

GreenMED – Green Shipping Pathways Towards a Clean Energy Transition in the Mediterranean

GreenMED is a regionally oriented project aiming to effectively support green shipping efforts in the Mediterranean Sea basin, by promoting plausible scenario-based decarbonisation pathways. The GreenMED’s ambition is to contribute directly and actively to the emission targets established by the EU under the 2030 and 2050 milestones. This goal´s realization relies on the comprehension and integration of innovative technologies, taking into consideration the regional ship energy demands, the fuel supply chains in both shores of the Mediterranean Sea, and the variety of emerging green shipping technologies, leading to the establishment of a decarbonisation hub: the Mediterranean Sustainable Shipping Observatory (MSSO).

Duration : 24 months – EU contribution: EUR 740 868


POWER4MED – local emPOWERment of fuel transition FOR a green MEDiterranean

Transition toward carbon neutrality in maritime transport requires short & medium-term solutions, the former based on transition fuels (LNG), the latter on not yet fully available alternative fuels (green hydrogen, methanol, electricity & wind). Dealing with such complexity is difficult for the operators of smaller ships and POWER4MED has the ambition to support them by developing the POWER4MED Supporting Structure, a “Supporting Team” of multidisciplinary experts and a set of toolkits facilitating the path toward carbon neutrality of the 3 sectors targeted by the project: fishing boats, commercial vessels and marinas.

Duration: 18 months – EU contribution: EUR 638 435

CALLMEBLUE  – Cluster ALLiance MEd BLUE

CALLMEBLUE aims to strengthen existing maritime clusters alliances in the Mediterranean area in order to accelerate north-south regional cooperation processes towards the emerging of strategic maritime clusters in North Africa area (south-south cooperation). The project will aim to create a strategic vision and transferable models of interregional cooperation, by implementing concrete actions at both local and regional level in order to raise awareness on the relevance of Maritime clusters as key actors for sustainable blue economy policies such as promoting exchange of best practices and knowledge transfer between north and southern area.

Duration: 24 months – EU contribution: EUR 780 987.86

Read the full article with the other projects on the CINEA website

WestMED Success Story: EMFAF Flagship Projects Accelerating Tourism Sustainability

The popularity of the Mediterranean sea and its coastal regions amongst tourists remains at an all time high. After a temporary covid dip, the latest figures show that numbers of tourists have already reached pre-pandemic levels and are further on the rise.

Traditional model no longer viable

Traditional ‘sun, sea and sand’ tourism has resulted in improved livelihoods for many local communities, averaging 11.5% of total employment in Mediterranean countries. It is therefore, one of the leading sectors of the economy in the region.

At the same time, it also puts tremendous pressure on the environment. Mass tourism is one of the main causes of increased pollution and a driver for uncontrolled building along the coastlines. This, coupled to a growing demand for water, food and energy and the structurally rising temperatures (sea and land), severely impacts the region’s resources, and is therefore not viable in the long run.

Additionally, these same pressures lower the attractiveness of tourist destinations in the Mediterranean.

Sustainable blue economy at the heart

The European Commission is actively addressing many of these issues to safeguard the connection between economic welfare and the environment with the ‘Sustainable blue economy’ concept.

This has been an ongoing process since 2013 – as part of the Commission’s targeted approach for several European Sea basins with dedicated blue strategies for the Atlantic (Atlantic Action Plan), the Black Sea (Common Maritime Agenda) and the Western Mediterranean (WestMED Initiative).

Flagship projects lead the way

In 2021 the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) decided to fund so-called flagship projects (pilot strategic initiatives) for each of the sea basin strategies with 5.5 million euro to accelerate achievement of their respective goals.

For the Western Mediterranean the main objective of this EMFAF flagship funding  was to ‘strengthen the competitiveness and sustainability of the coastal and maritime tourism sector, as part of a smart and resilient blue economy – one of the key goals of the WestMED Initiative.  This, by preserving the marine and coastal environment as well as marine cultural heritage, and contributing to the attractiveness of coastal areas by means of ecotourism, digitalisation and mobilising private-public investments.’

Eco-tourism, cross-border cooperation and multiplying results

Given the fact that tourism plays such a significant role in the Western Mediterranean as one of the key contributors to both the upside gains as well as the downside risks of the blue economy, three projects that function as a catalyst for change, were selected for co-financing.

All three are focused on enhancing eco-tourism in the region, cross-border cooperation (including non-EU WestMED countries as partners such as Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Mauritania) and actively sharing knowledge amongst stakeholders from both the northern and southern shore, to multiply results.

These projects are also examples of the rapid development and transformation of the tourism industry to a more modern sector by adopting digital platforms, digital marketing and information technologies such as the internet of things, augmented reality and virtual reality.

The three  Flagship projects:

ECO-CRUISING FU_TOUR

This project boosts new managerial, blue, green and digital skills to pave the way for an eco-friendly, zero-impact cruising sector.

The project designs innovative, sustainable and smart theme-based cruising packages targeting Millennials and Gen Z, aimed at minimising the impact of large groups of visitors.

The project also develops and delivers a specialised capacity building programme, enabling cross-border cooperation, exchange of good practices and unlocking new business opportunities around the eco-cruise sector.

The target group consists of small and medium sized companies in the West Mediterranean area, as well public and private stakeholders in charge of the promotion of EU and West European coastal and maritime destinations.

According to project coordinator Marika Mazzi Boém from X23, the company leading the project, the timing after Covid is critical for the cruise industry to reinvent itself:

“Rather than focusing on strategies to grow tourism, what we need now is to implement actions for containing mass tourism in favour of sustainability. So innovation is key at different levels: in technology, to increase environmentally friendly practises and reduce carbon footprint; in the travel experience, as personalization is a must; and in business modeling, to bring tangible economic and social benefits to local communities”.

More info about ECO-CRUISING FU_TOUR
Budget Overall: €990 222

EU Contribution: €792 178

 

Partners/ Countries Coordinator: X23 The Innovation Bakery (Italy)

Italian Tourist Board-ENIT (Italy)

Celestyal Ship Management (Greece)

Cyprus Marine and Maritime Institute (Cyprus)

Green evolution (Greece)

Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Tunisia-CCIT (Tunisia)

Leancubator (Algeria)

Tanger City port management Company – SGPTV (Morocco)

ASCAME (Spain)

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Duration 1 September 2022- 31 December 2024

EU WeMED_NaTOUR

This project supports local tourism SMEs and involves them in the creation and delivery of eco-tourism packages targeting the growing school-trip tourism market.

It will do so, by creating immersive ‘learning by visiting’ school trips for the ‘new generations’: primary and secondary school students in three age ranges; 6-10 years, 11-13 years, and 14-16.

Schooltrip tourism is beneficial as it not only helps to reduce seasonal peaks but also diversifies the market, increasing awareness of the value and vulnerability of Western Mediterranean marine ecosystems, coastal destinations and culture.

Claudia Iglesias, Project Design and Policy Specialist from X23 is clear on the benefits of this approach:

“Benefits will go two ways: children will have the opportunity to learn, by visiting beautiful landscapes and to contribute preserving the fragile and unique ecosystems; and local tourism SMEs will be actively involved at destination, crucial players to the new value chain that we want to create”.

 

More info about EU WeMed_NaTOUR
Budget Overall: €995 270

EU contribution: €796 683

Partners/ Countries Coordinator: X23 The Innovation Bakery (Italy)

Turismo de Portugal (Portugal)

Travel without plastic (Spain)

Office National de Tourisme – ONTM (Mauritania)

International Social Tourism Organisation – ISTO (Belgium)

Italian National Tourism Board-ENIT (Italy)

Balearic Marine Cluster (Spain)

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Duration 1 July 2022 – 31 October 2024

REBOOT MED

REBOOT MED (Recovering, Experiencing and Boosting eco-tourism in the WestMed area) is a project that encourages public-private partnership, co-defining Blue Economy Action Plans for the Recovery of the tourism sector, and to incubate, accelerate and test eco/blue economy tourism products and packages in Mauritania, Tunisia, Morocco, Spain, Italy and France.

This is done by engaging local multi-stakeholder clusters that have been created in 6 WestMed countries and 10 pilot areas as well as accompanying ecotourism ideas to be tested in real conditions.

Tommaso Scavone, project designer and project manager from Petra Patrimonia Corsica, is proud of the results achieved so far:

“We are demonstrating that when citizens, public stakeholders and private actors are willing to co-develop long-term visions, it is possible to activate sustainable processes at all levels. On the ground there are several ideas and initiatives carried out by pioneers – women, youth, start-uppers – looking for collaboration and partnerships: all of them are linked together by a ‘fil rouge’ that is “the love for their territories. And we as partners are there – on the ground – to support all of them and to try together to reboot ecotourism in the WestMed area!”

 

More info about Reboot Med
Budget Overall: €1 200 000

EU Contribution: 999 380

Partners/ countries ·         Coordinator: Coopérative Petra Patrimonia Corsica (France)

·         PRISM Impresa Sociale s.r.l. (Italy)

·         Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions-CPMR (France)

·         F.A.R. Maremma (Italy)

·         WWF Med (Tunisia)

·         Balearic Islands Tourism Agency (Spain)

·         Chamber of Commerce and Industry Tanger-Tetouan- El Hoceima (Morocco)

·         Diawling National Park (Mauritania)

·         Association of Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry – ASCAME (Spain)

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Duration 1 September 2023-31 August 2024

References

Maritime Clusters workshop at SeaFuture 2023 with speakers at table in a conference room

WestMED Maritime Clusters Alliance presenting major achievements and developments at SeaFuture 2023

LaSpezia, 8 June 2023

With the support of the WestMED (WM) Assistance Mechanism and the Italian national clusters CTN BIG and Federazione del Mare, the Maritime Clusters Alliance organised an event during SeaFuture 2023 in LaSpezia Italy focused on the WestMED Maritime Cluster Alliance

The main objective was to provide an overview of the cooperation among maritime clusters that are part of the WestMed Maritime Cluster Alliance (WM MCA) after two years since its inception- including:

  • jointly created, submitted and awarded projects requesting funding;
  • the significant impact on the southern shore dynamics (thanks to the proactivity of the Cluster Maritime Tunisien and the establishment of the Mauritanian Marine and Maritime Cluster);
  • the intensified Italian-Portuguese cooperation;
  • the inclusive approach of CTN BIG and Federazione del Mare towards the Mediterranean ecosystem as a whole.

Daniele Bosio and Luca Palazzo, WestMED National coordinators for Italy highlighted the importance of the Maritime Clusters Alliance Alliance towards the creation of a real Mediterranean ecosystem, particularly for a country like Italy that is currently preparating its first national strategic “Piano del Mare” (Plan for the Sea), as the main action after the establishment of the newly formed  ‘Ministry of the Sea and Civil Protection.’This Ministry is going to coordinate the competencies thgat is currently spread over 13 ministries.

Also, the inclusive role of Italy during its WestMED co-presidency was underlined, particularly for its embedding effort, to let regional and INTERREG managing authorities adopt WestMED priorities in the new 2021-2027 programmes and workplans.

Manuel Pleguezuelo (EC-DG MARE) reminded the priority given by DG MARE to the Maritime Cluster Alliance, considering the already achieved results, highlighting the work of the dedicated WestMED Workgroup and the role to include the outcomes within the recent EMFAF call that expired in late January 2023.

Adriana Salazar Olivan presented the role of the Union for the Mediterranean role in support of the WestMED Initiative, putting in evidence the impact that theresults achieved are having on the broader scenario of the whole Basin. This is witnessed by the involvement of Turkish, Greek, Egyptian, Jordan, Croatian etc organizations within the partnerships supported by the WMAM.
This has confirmed the validity of the Assistance Mechanism concept, as a “bottom-up” team, supporting and staying beside stakeholders instead of above.

Shaun Patrick Ebejer (Malta) confirmed the importance that the Maltese co-presidency is giving to the topic of clusters, also for the benefit of its small but vital ecosystem. Not for a case, the interaction with the Italian clusters is growing and the two countries are possibly joining forces for a common national event in October.

Main Achievements of the WestMED Maritime Clusters Alliance and its members
Among the multiple achievements of the WestMED Maritime Clusters Alliance, Anja Detant remarked the attention that the European Commission and CINEA paid to the opening the EMFAF calls to third countries, particularly those of the WestMED sub-basin, and to the priorities of the WestMED Technical Groups and Work Groups.

Hamadi BABA HAMADI, summarized the process and the importance for his country towards such a move, as a starting point to fully integrate Mauritania in the common ecosystem and tighten cooperation with northern and southern WM countries. The centrality of the Fishery sector, of Maritime Transport and of Blue Skills are indicated as priority for Mauritanian dynamics and networking activities with the Mediterranean stakeholders.

On June 9th in Rome, the president of the Mauritanian Marine and Maritime Cluster has signed an MoU with the Italian national clusters, aiming at a closer cooperation, including the research activities.

Emna Sohlobji, in her position of secretary general of the CMT (but also as elected Leading Woman in African Blue Economy) has witnessed the boost that her cluster gained in EU funded projects, but also in the capacity to provide internationalization opportunities to their associated members, for the benefit of the national Blue Economy. A bright example was illustrated as the MEBLEUE 2022 speeded up this process, with the concrete cooperation cases fostered among training institutes, research institutes, ports etc.

Ruben Eiras, secretary general of Forum Oceano and National Hub for Portugal, presented the Hub Azul Dealroom (a comprehensive digital stakeholders’ platform), a service that is part of the larger Portuguese strategy for the Blue Economy and the need to enable a faster matchmaking between innovators, policy makers, promoters and investors. The Dealroom is a tool at disposal of the WestMED Maritime Clusters Alliance, to enlarge networks and foster new knowledge and partnerships.

Laurence Martin and Thanos Smanis, presented the European Blue Forum that was launched during the recent European Maritime Day in Brest, and the key role that maritime clusters will be playing there too.

ForMare, Forum Oceano, CTN BIG, Strategis Cluster, SGD4MED, Federazione del Mare, Pole Mediterranée described concrete project proposals  that have been supported by the WestMED Assistance Mechanism to apply for funding – also with the perspective of possible capitalization actions. Most of these proposals were approved: ERASMUS+ – MARMED and MAQUAM, COSME Euroclusters – MedBan, IKAT and ELBE Alliance, EMFAF Women in Blue Economy – WINBIG, EMFAF Maritime Clusters CALLMEBLUE and Green Marine MED, EMFAF Ports & Maritime Transport POWER4MED.

 

Established cooperation agreements and synergies

Antonio Novo Guerrero, founder and president of the European Clusters Alliance (ECA), and Axelle Salvage fromEuropean Network of Maritime Clusters (ENMC) explained the efforts undertaken by the WestMED Maritime Clusters Alliance in liaising with their leading aggregations of clusters

The fruitful exchanges with ECA are now aimed at integrating networking agendas reciprocally, enlarging cross-sectoral exchange opportunities for WM MCA members and open the Blue specialization to the ECA. ENMC at their end, recognises the importance of the WestMED Maritime Clusters Alliamce as a way to gain more direct access to and interact with a broader spectrum of maritime clusters within the Mediterranean region, and its Assistance Mechanism.

Finally Walter Wassallo, promoter of the Blue Marina Award (that recognises Italian marinas for their coherence with sustainable Development Goals-SDG’s), presented the second edition of the awards to be held in Trieste in 2023 and is already looking at its cross-border Mediterranean scope from 2024 on, thanks to the technical assistance of the Italian National Hub in close cooperation with National Hub colleagues from the WestMED countries.

Conclusions
Conclusions were then summarized by the intervention of Giovanni Caprino, President of CTN BIG, and the remote intervention of Matteo Bocci, who coordinates the WestMED Maritime Clusters Alliance together with WestMED’s Italian National Hub.

Along these conclusions also the opportunities represented to increase exchanges with Black Sea and Atlantic Sea Basins’ stakeholders were underline, as a further contribution to the internationalization strategies and synergies of the“WestMED Maritime Clusters Community”.

Memorandum of Understanding signed between World Ocean Council and the UfM/WestMED to boost private sector engagement in the Mediterranean Blue Economy

On March 28,2023, the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and the World Ocean Council (WOC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the UfM Headquarters in Barcelona. This, within  the framework of the 2021 UfM Ministerial Declaration on Sustainable Blue Economy and Roadmap for its implementation, and the WestMED Initiative, supported by the UfM and by the European Commission.

The MoU details key avenues of collaboration to promote cooperation, strong engagement, stewardship, and corporate responsibility from the business and investment communities in the maritime  sectors at Mediterranean level.

Cooperation will mainly focus on blue business development and entrepreneurship (incl. blue skills, careers, jobs and employability) and blue investments i..e the blue finance process in the Mediterranean. This via joint promotion and possible co-organisation of events, helping connect political to business apirations, exchanging expertise etc.

The WestMED Assistance Mechanism and the WOC are currenly exploring practical plans for joint development and cooperation in 2023.

Announcement poster stakeholder conference with photo of La Valetta in Malta

Join us on 22 June in Malta for the 2023 edition of the WestMED Initiative stakeholder Conference

After the successful 2021 WestMED Stakeholder Conference in Rome and the 2022 Hackathons on project development in Malta, we invite you to the 2023 edition of the WestMED Stakeholder Conference.

The Conference will be held on Thursday, 22 June 2023 in Malta. The event is open to all stakeholders that are contributing to improve the sustainable blue economy in the region.

So, whether you are a business owner, an entrepreneur, a scientist, an investor, a lecturer, a local or regional authority or a policy maker, this will be a day for you.  Learn the latest developments, meet new inspirational people, and consult the (national) blue economy experts from the WestMED Initiative in-person.

This year’s focus will be on the four main thematic areas that the WestMED Initiative actively supports:  Sustainable Aquaculture, Green Shipping and Ports, Maritime Clusters and Marine Spatial Planning.

We will share with you the results achieved so far and discuss the challenges that lie ahead.

The format will be interactive. Based on your level of expertise, you can both contribute to the discussion or ask fellow experts to help you in your activities.

Next to this, we plan to give you the latest updates and insights into the most relevant funding opportunities for your project ideas.

As a bonus, we are looking at the possibility of including a unique on-site visit, to learn from success stories on blue economy development in Malta.

The Stakeholder Conference will be followed by an (invitation only) official Ministerial meeting on June 23. On this occasion, Ministers from the 10 member countries will sign a new Ministerial Declaration with a commitment to reconfirm and streamline priorities for boosting the blue economy in the Mediterranean region.

 

For more information and registration  Visit the conference 2023 page

EMD in my country poster

Boost your maritime event with EMD in my country 2023

Last year, over 600 EMD In My Country events took place all over Europe and beyond!

It is time to break a new record to celebrate our blue planet this year!

Any blue event between 1 April and 31st October 2023 can apply.

There is no limitation: from beach clean-ups to educational tours or seafood fairs, all events promoting sustainable ocean and blue economy are welcome.

As a token of our gratitude for your action, you will receive promotional material for the participants in your event, which will be featured on our website. Make sure you indicate the number of participants in your application to receive enough goodies.

Now it’s up to you! Fill in the application form before 15 March 2023 and bring European Maritime Day 2023 to your country!

Visit the maritime day event website here

Submit your application here

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New domain name for WestMED website and emails

The WestMED Initiative has received a new domain name for all its communications: westmed-initiative.ec.europa.eu.

It means that both the website, as well as the email addresses have changed. The website can now be accessed through: https://westmed-initiative.ec.europa.eu

All emails will receive the @westmed-initiative.ec.europa.eu extension. So the new email for Algeria for instance is now: algeria@westmed-initiative.ec.europa.eu

Below you will find an overview of all new email addresses

The new  domain name  is the official domain for the  European Commission. It meant that the website had to undergo a major transformation in order to comply with the EC standards which relate to elements such as accessibility, security and privacy. At the same time, also some pages have been redesigned to be more user friendly.

At the backend, the website servers have also been updated to comply with strict security standards as required by the EC.

Here is a list of all new email addresses:

National Hub Algeria algeria@westmed-initiative.ec.europa.eu
National Hub France france@westmed-initiative.ec.europa.eu
National Hub Italy italy@westmed-initiative.ec.europa.eu
National Hub Malta malta@westmed-initiative.ec.europa.eu
National Hub Mauritania mautitania@westmed-initiative.ec.europa.eu
National Hub Morocco morocco@westmed-initiative.ec.europa.eu
National Hub Portugal portugal@westmed-initiative.ec.europa.eu
National Hub Spain spain@westmed-initiative.ec.europa.eu
National Hub Tunisia tunisia@westmed-initiative.ec.europa.eu
Communications communications@westmed-initiative.ec.europa.eu

 

Emails sent to the old email address will be forwarded for a period of 6 months until June 30, 2023.

Lighthouse Chania after sunset

A landmark document: Roadmap for the implementation of the 2021 UfM Ministerial Declaration on Sustainable Blue Economy (SBE) in the Mediterranean

Source: based on article UfM stakeholder platform

Following the adoption by the 43 member countries of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) in February 2021 of the 2nd UfM Ministerial Declaration on Sustainable Blue Economy (SBE), the UfM countries, Co-Presidency, and Secretariat, agreed to create a Roadmap for the implementation of the 2021 Ministerial.

This, with a view to produce an in-depth overview and analysis of the joint needs, gaps and opportunities for future support, funding, and implementation for each of the 10 priorities set by the Declaration.

This landmark document includes a sketching out of ongoing initiatives, programmes, and projects, while linking to and formulating promising pathways, processes, and actions to be launched, scaled-up, and promoted from the short to the longer term. The Roadmap also foresees an easy to implement monitoring system; essential to assess progress towards the implementation of the Ministerial at regional level.

The WestMED initiative as a succesful example
In the 2nd Ministerial Declaration on Sustainable Blue Economy, the ministers of the UfM countries recognised that the WestMED Initiative is a successful example of cooperation, focused on clear goals, priorities, and measurable targets and as a catalyst for the development of SBE projects in the region.

The roadmap identifies key elements of good practice that can be replicated at regional level by some other frameworks or initiatives, especially in the topics of governance (i.e. how the actual WestMED Initiative and the macro regional strategy EUSAIR work in terms of planning and decision making) and in the key aspects on project development support through the work of dedicated Technical Groups (for instance, and in the case of the WestMED Initiative: Green shipping, Sustainable Aquaculture(AquaWEST) and the WestMED Maritime Clusters Alliance.

For more information and download of the Ministerial Declaration and the Roadmap documents, visit the Med blue economy platform

Conference room table with micrrophones

The WestMED Iniatiative welcomes the Mauritanian/ Maltese Co-Presidency in 2023

In 2023, Mauritania will co-chair the WestMED Steering Committee along with Malta in accordance with the principle of rotation among the participating WestMED countries (France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Malta, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania).

The Mauritanian Co-Presidency will keep supporting the six priorities agreed by the countries in 2018 on the common roadmap for the development of a sustainable blue economy:

  • maritime safety and fight against marine pollution,
  • maritime cluster development,
  • skills development and circulation,
  • sustainable consumption and production,
  • biodiversity and marine habitat conservation and restoration
  • Development of coastal communities  and sustainable fisheries and aquaculture.

At national level, Mauritania has set ambitious targets on blue economy, which includes: the promotion of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, the development of a maritime cluster that brings together all the actors of the sea, development of maritime transport and development of Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP). These topics are already included in the priorities of the new strategy for the sector in Mauritania and are at the heart of the missions of two new agencies created within the department, namely the Agency for Maritime Affairs and the Agency for Inland Fisheries and Fish Farming.

In addition, the Mauritanian National Hub along with Tunisia play an important coordination role in the WestMED technical group on Maritime Clusters Alliance, ensuring and facilitating the cooperation within South-South and also North-South through actions, partnerships and projects.