As the terrestrial world is kept hostile by the Coronavirus outbreak, life under water is all business as usual. But how well is our marine life faring? According to the United Nations IPBES report, nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history. Almost 33% of reef-forming corals and more than a third of all marine mammals are threatened.
DG MARE has published an information note to give guidance to EU Member States outlining existing tools and instruments to support their local communities. Fisheries and aquaculture have been hit particularly hard by significant market disruptions, including from mandatory restaurant closures.
As the Coronavirus pandemic threatens the health of our citizens, many parts of the EU economy are also experiencing major disruptions. Fishing and aquaculture have been among the hardest hit sectors. The European Commission has therefore decided to adopt a temporary State aid framework to enable Member States to provide relief to economic operators hit by the crisis. The new Temporary Framework allows aid up to a level of €120,000 per undertaking active in the fishery and aquaculture sectors.
Deadline for applications is 6 April 2020.
The Common maritime agenda for the Black Sea has officially launched on February 17, 2020 in Sofia. Based on the positive experience of sustainable development initiatives in other sea basins, such as the West Med Initiative, the steering committee decided to schedule a number of regional seminars, stakeholders’ events and high-level meetings to raise awareness, facilitate stakeholders’ involvement and networking and identify significant projects for the region.
Today I have written to Fisheries and Environment Ministers of 22 European Union Member States about the issue of incidental catches of dolphins and other marine animals in EU waters, especially in the Bay of Biscay and the Celtic Sea,to urge them to collaborate in finding a solution for this situation. As the European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, I am fully committed to resolve this problem.
The blue economy is full of opportunities for low-carbon, sustainable growth. But to make sure that these activities do not clash for space or damage the marine environment, careful planning is needed. That is exactly what maritime spatial planning does. In this guest blog, the authors explore how the EU and international partners are planning the ocean.
The ocean is a treasure trove of economic opportunities — from fishing and aquaculture to renewable energy and ecotourism. And with the European Green Deal, we will rely on it even more. The blue economy can help us find new solutions to fully decarbonize the European economy by 2050.
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