Marine life has adapted to thrive in the extreme ambient conditions found in the sea. Blue biotechnology is concerned with the exploration and exploitation of the resulting diverse marine organisms in order to develop new products.
Exploration of the sea biodiversity could enable us to develop new pharmaceuticals or industrial enzymes that can withstand extreme conditions, and which consequently have high economic value. In the long term, it is expected that the sector will offer high-skilled employment and significant downstream opportunities.
We now have the underwater technology to explore the sea and undertake DNA sequencing to analyse its life. Concerted action from the EU at this early stage joins up the efforts of EU countries in order to provide critical mass and hence stimulate growth and facilitate access to competitive niche markets whilst avoiding risks to the marine environment.
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EMODnet’s new World Base Layer Service (EBWBL) provides a fast and easy access to worldwide bathymetric information, enabling marine knowledge users including industry, scientists, coastal managers, students and the general public, to access high-resolution representations of seabed features from their own computer.
Although the European Maritime Day (EMD) 2020 Conference (foreseen to be held in Cork, Ireland) had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis and the related social distancing measures, our EMD In My Country partners managed to organise many open air or virtual events.
On 25 June, 2020, the European Commission organised an online outermost regions webinar with the participation of representatives from the EU’s nine outermost regions. Discussions focused on blue economy development and recovery measures taken by the EU due to the COVID-19 crisis, such as state aid measures and dedicated support from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).