Damanaki unveils "Blue Growth" as new European fish economy drive – Fishupdate.com

Damanaki unveils “Blue Growth” as new European fish economy drive Published:  28 May, 2012

EUROPEAN Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki has unveiled “Blue Growth” – the new initiative for opening up Europe’s fishing economy.

Speaking to Swedish ministers and other European personalities at the European Maritime Day Conference, in Gothemburg last week, she said: “‘Blue growth’ is the economic pillar of the EU’s Integrated Maritime Policy which is fully integrated into the Europe 2020 strategy.

“Its main target is the creation of growth and new jobs in the maritime economy. This target could be achieved through further sustainable development of maritime sectors of the European economy. Europe is the most developed maritime economy in comparison with all other continents. Thus, EU can harvest an important share of the potential of oceans, seas and coasts to the benefit of citizens and society as a whole.

Ms Damanaki added: “As I stated at the European Maritime Day Conference, I believe that maritime economy can open the way for new products, services and jobs – and for new, dynamic entrepreneurs to grab the chance and drive the economy forward; a healthy blue economy shapes the economy of the entire continent and can pull Europe out of the current crisis.”

She said Blue Growth had a dual purpose: creating new jobs in the maritime economy and letting maritime economy grow, but sustainably and inclusively. “We are identifying leading and promising maritime sectors and their respective value chains, looking at both the assets that drive them forward and at the hurdles that hinder their growth. Policies have to reinforce the drivers and remove the bottlenecks.”

Commissioner Maria Damanaki, who was present at the signing event, said: “This agreement is the key step to legally bind EU Member States to improving the working conditions for fishermen in Europe. It applies, in principle, to all fishing vessels and all fishermen, including multi-national crews. It obliges authorities to monitor whether the rules are complied with, and encourages coordination among relevant authorities. Making fishing safer and more attractive as a profession is one of the goals of the ongoing reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.”