Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 244

Archive for 19 giugno 2018

Commission sets direction for sustainable fisheries and launches consultations on the 2019 fishing opportunities

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 19 giugno 2018

Commissioner Karmenu Vella, responsible for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: “Restoring the health of our seas and oceans is not a choice, it’s an imperative, and the EU must continue to lead by example. The laudable efforts of our fishermen over the last decade are starting to pay off: Many of our fish stocks, though far from all, are returning to sustainable levels. Yet, now is not a time for complacency. 2019 will be a crucial year for achieving our shared objectives. Working hand-in-hand – fishermen, industry, civil society and authorities – let us keep up the efforts and keep our ambitions high for our ocean. I look forward to working closely with all parties.” The EU’s Common Fisheries Policy sets the objective of reaching maximum sustain­able yield (MSY) as soon as possible and by 2020 at the latest. MSY contributes to the sus­tainable conservation of the stocks and allows for maximisation of fish supply from fishing. This in turn contributes to securing a profitable EU fishing industry and thriving coastal areas for the future – and to achieving good environmental status in European seas by 2020. Recent years have seen significant progress towards the CFP objectives, notably in northern and western waters, where overfishing has decreased considerably, whilst biomass has increased and in 2016 on average was nearly 39% above 2003 levels.By contrast, moving towards sustainable exploitation in the Mediterranean and the Black Seas remains challenging. This is largely due to the multispecies nature of fisheries, the fact that several fish stocks are shared with third countries and the low number of fish stocks assessed yearly by scientific bodies. While a small number of stocks are being exploited at sustainable levels – for example, deep-sea pink shrimp and red mullet in the south and central Tyrrhenian Sea – the average biomass in the Mediterranean does not show any improvement since 2003. Nonetheless, important efforts are deployed to reverse the situation, both at the EU level and with our international partners. These initiatives give way to cautious optimism. Only last week, Black with an ambitious 10-year action plan on sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. This followed on from the 2017 Medfish4ever declaration, which commits countries around the Mediterranean to restore fish stocks in this important basin.Over recent years, EU Fleet has also registered significant improvement in its overall economic performance, with record net profits of EUR 1.3 billion in 2016. Average salaries and labour productivity have also increased. The overall improvement in profitability coincides with an increase in the number of stocks fished at rates consistent with the objective of achieving MSY and an associated increase in the biomass of these stocks. This confirms that sustainable fisheries address not only environmental but also social and economic concerns.From 2019, the landing obligation – i.e. the requirement for EU vessels to avoid discards and bring to harbour all catches – must be fully phased in. This will be a key achievement in pursuing sustainable EU fisheries and important progress has been made. For pelagic fisheries and fisheries in the Baltic and Black Sea, the landing obligation is already fully implemented. For demersal fisheries, there has been an overall increase of the scope of the landing obligation in volume from 35% to 44% since 2017. In the Mediterranean, around 66 % of the total landings are currently under the landing obligation. In the Black Sea, since 2017, the landing obligation covers all catches of the species subject to TAC, i.e. sprat and turbot. But additional efforts will be needed to reach the agreed 2019 deadline. The EU stands ready to support fishermen in this process, including through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). Likewise, the Commission’s recent proposal to improve the EU’s fisheries control system will among other things, facilitate the implementation of the landing obligation.

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Create your own marine and coastal maps with the new European Atlas of the Seas!

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 19 giugno 2018

A new version of the European Atlas of the Seas is now available. The Atlas hosts a wealth of information about Europe’s marine environment, covering topics such as nature, tourism, security, energy, passenger transport, sea bottom, sea level rise, fish consumption, and much more.With the new release, users can benefit from an enriched catalogue with more than 120 additional layers to explore, collate and create their own maps. Print, share or embed the maps in your articles and presentations!The Atlas is the ideal tool for schools, researchers and professionals, or anyone wishing to enhance their knowledge or improve their products and services. Currently available in four languages (EN, FR, DE & ES), the Atlas will soon be available in all official languages of the European Union.
The Atlas aims to raise awareness of Europe’s seas and coasts in the context of the EU’s integrated maritime policy. Data providers are primarily the European Commission and its agencies (i.e. EEA, Eurostat, …), as well as the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet), which provided about 80 new maps.Since September 2017, the EMODnet Secretariat has taken over the management of the Atlas with a mission to further expand the range of services and features and improve the interface, functionality and content. The Secretariat is now also responsible for actively promoting the Atlas and keeping users informed about new maps and features.Stay tuned! Each week, the Atlas will put the spotlight on a new map worth exploring. Take a moment to tune in and enhance your marine knowledge.

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EU budget: Commission proposes a new fund to invest in the maritime economy and support fishing communities

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 19 giugno 2018

The new European Maritime and Fisheries Fund will continue to support the European fisheries sector towards more sustainable fishing practices, with a particular focus on supporting small-scale fishermen. It will also help unleash the growth potential of a sustainable blue economy towards a more prosperous future for coastal communities. For the first time, it will contribute to strengthening international ocean governance for safer, cleaner, more secure, and sustainably managed seas and oceans. Finally, the Commission is reinforcing the environmental impact of the Fund with a focus on protecting marine ecosystems and an expected contribution of 30% of its budget to climate change mitigation and adaptation, in line with the commitments agreed under the Paris Agreement.Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, said: “Healthy, well-managed oceans are a pre-condition for long-term investments and job creation in fisheries and the broader blue economy. As a global ocean actor and the world’s fifth largest producer of seafood, the European Union has a strong responsibility to protect, conserve and sustainably use the oceans and their resources. The Fund will allow Member States and the Commission to live up to that responsibility and invest into sustainable fisheries, food security, a thriving maritime economy, and healthy and productive seas and oceans.”Fisheries are vital to the livelihood and cultural heritage of many coastal communities in the EU. Together with aquaculture, they also contribute to food security and nutrition. A particular focus of the Fund will be to support small-scale coastal fishermen, with vessels below 12 metres, which represent half of European employment in the fishing sector. Since the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy in 2014, progress has been made in bringing fish stocks back to healthy levels, in increasing the profitability of the EU’s fishing industry, and in conserving marine ecosystems. The new Fund will continue to support these socio-economic and environmental objectives.As regards the maritime economy, the Commission proposes to strengthen its support compared to the 2014-2020 period. This is a high-potential economic sector whose worldwide output is estimated at €1.3 trillion today and could more than double by 2030. The maritime fund will enable investment in new maritime markets, technologies and services such as ocean energy and marine biotechnology. Coastal communities will receive more and broader support to set up local partnerships and technology transfers in all blue economy sectors, including aquaculture and coastal tourism.In the context of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Union has also committed at international level to make seas and oceans safer, more secure, cleaner and more sustainably managed. The new European Maritime and Fisheries Fund will support these commitments for better international ocean governance. It will, among others, also provide the necessary funding to improve maritime surveillance, security and coastguard cooperation.

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Ocean energy – A new source of green, blue power

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 19 giugno 2018

European Commissioner for environment, maritime affairs and fisheries Karmenu Vella inaugurated the world’s first large assembling plant for tidal turbines and devices, built by Naval Energies in Cherbourg, France. Tidal energy is a form of hydropower, or ocean energy, whereby turbines convert the kinetic energy of the tides into electricity.
Speaking at the opening, Commissioner Vella expressed the importance of this emerging industry for Europe. “The EU needs ocean energy to successfully transition towards a low-carbon economy”, he said. “Renewable energy from the sea is great news for the environment. But it is also fantastic news for the economic development of European coastal regions and communities.” Due to its favourable conditions and the availability of a highly skilled workforce, including world-class marine engineers, Europe is at the forefront of ocean energy development. The sector accounts for 2,000 high-skilled jobs, mostly in research and development. The EU hosts:
50 % of the world’s tidal energy developers;
60 % of wave energy developers, and
70 % of the ocean energy research and testing infrastructure.
According to Commissioner Vella, the EU has all in hand to “build on its current technological leadership and create a new industry in the decade to come”.
While offshore wind energy has already deployed very large capacities, ocean energy is still in its infancy. But the projections are promising. By the middle of this century, around 10% of the European Union’s power demand could be met by ocean energy.To accelerate development and improve reliability and performance, the EU directly funds technological developments and test centres. Through Horizon 2020, the EU currently supports 17 ocean energy projects, worth 124 million euros. New types of financial support, such as the upcoming EU investment platform for the blue economy or the investEU fund for strategic investments, offer further opportunities to create confidence for investors and reduce costs.Last month, in May, the European Commission has organised Blue Invest, a matchmaking event between companies and investors for the blue economy. One pitching session, in which selected companies could pitch their project on stage in front of a professional jury of investors, was fully dedicated to ocean energy. Click here if you want to see how it went.

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Future EU Maritime and Fisheries Fund

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 19 giugno 2018

EU Commissioner Karmenu Vella, responsible for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, will be at the Council in Luxembourg to present and discuss the Commission’s ‘Policy Statement’ setting the stage for the proposals that will come later for fishing opportunities for 2019 as well as the recent legislative proposals on a revision of the European fisheries control system and a Regulation for a new European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.Ministers are expected to have an exchange of views on the Policy Statement. This annual Communication sets out the rational for the subsequent Commission proposals on the fishing opportunities for 2019. Progress made next year will be crucial for achieving the EU’s objective of securing sustainable fisheries in its waters. This will include the full phasing in of the landing obligation, requiring fishermen to land all catches to stop the wasteful practice of throwing unwanted fish back in the sea. Until end of August, a public consultation invites Member States, Advisory Councils, other stakeholders and citizens to comment on the Commission Communication. In the autumn, the Commission will table its proposals for fishing opportunities, based on independent scientific advice. The Council will then aim at a final agreement in its meeting of October (fishing opportunities for the Baltic), November (fishing opportunities for the deep-sea) and December (fishing opportunities for the Atlantic, the North Sea and the Black Sea).Commissioner Vella will also present the recent proposal to improve, modernise and simplify the way in which fishing rules are monitored and enforced in the EU. An effective control system is central to ensuring that fisheries are managed sustainably, guaranteeing the long-term viability of the EU fishing sector and protecting the livelihoods of our fishermen. Ministers will have a first exchange of views on the proposed revision, which wants to make control more efficient to the benefit of EU fisheries. The fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing will benefit from improved enforcement of fisheries rules across the EU.Finally, a preliminary exchange of views will take place among ministers on the Commission’s proposal for the next European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), recently tabled following the adoption of the EU’s long-term Budget for the Future (2021-2027). The new EMFF will continue to support the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy, ensuring that fishing activities are environmentally sustainable in the long-term and that the sector generates economic, social and employment benefits. Particular attention will be paid to small-scale fishermen. EMFF will also support unleashing the growth potential of a sustainable blue economy towards a more prosperous future for coastal communities. For the first time, the Fund will contribute to strengthening international ocean governance for safer, cleaner, more secure, and sustainably managed seas and oceans. Finally, the Commission is reinforcing the environmental impact of the Fund with a focus on protecting marine ecosystems and underpinning climate change mitigation and adaptation, in line with the commitments agreed under the Paris Agreement.

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