EU fishing and marine industries to "be worth 600 bn euros by 2020' –

EU fishing and marine industries to “be worth 600 bn euros by 2020′ Published:  10 October, 2012

Maria Damanaki

EUROPE’S fishing and marine industry is expected to grow in value by 20 per cent to 600-billion euros by 2020, EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki  has predicted this week.

As a result it was important to take the necessary measures to facilitate growth, she added. Ms Damanaki said  that the  marine and maritime economic sectors already employed well over five million people and account for a gross value added of €500 billion.

Ms Damanaki said:  “According to a recent study, these figures are expected to grow to €600 billion and  seven  million employed people in 2020. The Blue Growth strategy that I presented earlier this month, which takes stock of that analysis, is the result of a long preparation, which led to a precise agenda to boost growth and employment through the sustainable exploitation of marine resources.

“It identifies five specific areas with a particular potential for growth, where removing obstacles hindering growth could provide an additional stimulus: i) maritime, coastal and cruise tourism, ii) Blue energy, iii) marine mineral resources, iv) aquaculture and v) blue biotechnology. I will table specific initiatives in all these sectors in the near future to explore and develop their growth potential in these areas.”

She maintained that the maritime economy can deliver growth and create employment of the type vital for Europe to overcome the current difficulties.

“In a couple of weeks, in Cyprus, the Union’s Ministers will be discussing a marine and maritime agenda for growth and jobs and a possible political declaration on the subject. Their political commitment is a fundamental ingredient for success. As well as the strong involvement of business and stakeholders.

“!Of course, a one-size-fits-all policy won’t work: we need to develop further our sea-basins strategies, so that we can best adapt our tools and interventions. And we need to base our policy on a better knowledge of the oceans and seas as well as the effects of human activities on marine ecosystems and a rational allocation of space through a Maritime Spatial Planning framework.”

The Commissioner concluded: “I am committed to put in place these conditions through concrete initiatives, so that the potential for sustainable growth from seas and oceans won’t anymore come as a surprise but will become reality.”