"The sheer variety on display at Halieutis is a visible sign of the ocean's enormous wealth. It reminds me how much we depend on the oceans. And it convinces me that we need to work even harder to protect these resources for future generations. Cooperation and partnership are the way forward: for healthy oceans, a healthy fisheries sector, and a healthy 'blue' economy," Commissioner Vella said.
In this spirit, the European Commission launched an initiative on international ocean governance in November last year, reinforcing the European Union's efforts for healthy oceans worldwide.
The Commission is also working for more sustainable fisheries through the fisheries agreements it concludes with partner countries and by pushing for science-based fisheries management in Regional Fisheries Management Organisations around the world.
In addition to visiting the Halieutis exhibition, Commissioner Vella met with Moroccan fisheries minister Aziz Akhannouch, as well as ministers of Côte d’Ivoire and Gabon. The Commissioner used the opportunity to invite ministers to the international Our Ocean conference that the EU is hosting in Malta on 5-6 October 2017.
The Commissioner also invited the Moroccan minister to attend a ministerial conference in Malta on 29 March, which will bring together countries from around the Mediterranean sea basin to adopt a common declaration on sustainable fisheries in the Mediterranean. The event is part of the European Commission's #MedFish4Ever campaign to reverse the worrying decline of fish stocks that is threatening the fishing industry in the Mediterranean Sea.
The "Salon Halieutis" is a major international event dedicated to fisheries, organised by Morocco and targeting the marine fisheries, aquaculture and seafood industries.