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The Blue Economy Business & Science Forum: 12-13 September in Hamburg

The European Commission organised the first summit of the Blue Economy Business and Science Forum which gathered around 200 participants at the International Maritime Museum in Hamburg. The event also hosted the ceremony for DG MARE’s Blue Economy Business Awards 2016, rewarding those who have made contributions in developing innovation in the Blue Economy.

European Week of Regions and Cities (Open Days) on 11-14 October 2016: Three CLLD-themed workshops

During the upcoming European Week of Regions and Cities (EWRC), some 100 sessions, seminars and meetings will be organised around ‘Regions and cities for sustainable and inclusive growth’ and following three themes: sustained and sustainable economic growth, inclusive economic growth and lessons learned from past experience with ESI Funds. As a main focus of three workshops, CLLD is a prominent theme of the week’s programme.

The state of Europe’s seas

Three reports published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) during 2015 shed light on the current state of Europe’s seas and the network of marine protected areas (MPAs).

The state of Europe’s seas, identifies the main sustainability challenges affecting our seas and assesses how the EU is responding to these challenges. It argues that the EU is not currently on the path to achieving sustainability, but that a long-term transition to sustainability can be secured using available policies and knowledge. The Spatial analysis of marine protected area networks in Europe's seas presents an overview of the spatial distribution of the networks of MPAs established in EU waters, while Marine protected areas in Europe's seas — an overview and perspectives for the future assesses progress made to date in establishing MPAs and MPA networks in Europe and discusses how best to assess their effectiveness.

#EUFishEcon: “cooperation, cooperation, cooperation”

Economic Advice in Fisheries Management: a trilogue between Science, Administration and Stakeholders”, was the title of a conference organised recently by DG MARE of the European Commission, in collaboration with the European Association of Fisheries Economists (EAFE) and the University of Malta. FARNET was there also to highlight how CLLD is enabling fishing communities to develop new and innovative fisheries management initiatives.

The event gathered over 220 participants, including policy makers, fisheries scientists, NGOs, trade and seafood processing organisations, and small and large scale fisheries associations, from inside and outside the EU, for 1.5 days of lively and rich discussions (see outputs here). Quoting Commissioner Karmenu Vella in his opening speech, “we need accurate and relevant economic advice to back up our policy proposals… and we need to find ways to take into account that seafood markets are becoming ever more integrated and globalised…  so that the force stays with us.

With CLLD and FARNET present at this event, the point was made that a cooperative approach, bringing together local knowledge, smart science-fisheries partnerships and appropriately designed data collection tools, can support the design of more efficient fisheries management policies for local communities. Illustrated during the event with examples such as Telecapêche, a French Axis 4 supported catch data reporting system in Brittany, and the “relational capital in fishing communities” study by the Stretto FLAG in Calabria, Italy, there is clear evidence that FLAGs & CLLD can help to bring balance to the force in fisheries management.

For more information on the event and all presentations, click here.

Implementing the discard ban: guidance for small-scale fisheries

Since the 1st of January 2016, demersal fishermen in certain parts of the EU are obliged to land all the fish they catch (link). To help those concerned by this “zero discards” policy, especially during the critical adaptation phase, many Member States are producing specific guidelines. See some examples below:

By Member state:

  • Marine Management Organisation - Guides on the discard ban, how the rules apply, selling undersize fish, reporting requirements and quota management (link)
  • Seafish - The Landing Obligation (The Discards Ban) (link)
  • Seafish - Potential Implications of the Landing Obligation on Onshore Seafood Supply Chains in the UK (link)


  • Direção Geral dos Recursos Naturais, Segurança e Serviços Marítimos - Aplicação da obrigação de descarga (link)


  • Guia para la aplicación de la obligación de desembarque para buques españoles a partir del 1 de enero de 2016 para las especies demersales (versión 23/12/2015) (link)


By maritime basins:



Research for EP PECH committee – “Options of handling choke species in the view of the EU landing obligation – the Baltic plaice example” (link)

Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) Landing Obligations in EU Fisheries - part 3 (STECF-14-06) link



Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF): Landing Obligation - Part 6 (Fisheries targeting demersal species in the Mediterranean Sea) (STECF-15-19) (link)

Local project reaches global audience

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly FLAG is proud to have supported the Global Wave Conference during its development stages, not only financially, but also with animation and project development. 

To make this ‘global’ event a local success, the FLAG ensured a focus on local coastal communities, and on the individuals, businesses and organisations working towards the sustainable development of coastal areas. The event was considered as a major landmark and an unprecedented gathering of actors dedicated to the protection of oceans, coastlines and their communities. Besides placing Cornwall under the spotlight, it also provided a means for the FLAG to remain visible and actively involved in projects through to the end of 2015.


Proud to be a Fisher….WOman!

The FAO held a workshop on the 7th of October in Vigo on “Shaping an international network for women in the seafood industry”. The event comes at a time when a growing number of voices, at international, national and local level, are calling for better recognition and representation of women in decision-making processes, and FARNET was there.

During this meeting, FLAGs, women entrepreneurs and women’s organisations explored various ideas on the role of women in the seafood industry, showing successful examples of how to overcome barriers and foster greater entrepreneurship among women in the seafood sector. Although women account for 12% of the workforce in the European fisheries and aquaculture sector, they remain largely invisible, and their role is not always acknowledged. CLLD projects such as  “women entrepreneurs in Andalusia’s fisheries areas” or the tanning fish skin project of the Fisherwomen’s branch of the Ostrobothnian Fisheries Association provide tangible examples of how this situation could be improved. The French government has also stressed the relevance of the local development approach to the promotion of gender equality by launching a publication which highlights the diverse roles of women in the fisheries sector, including through several Axis 4 projects.

With EMFF and CLLD, women are increasingly encouraged and supported to access funding in order to increase their visibility, promote equal opportunities within the sector, start smart businesses and add value to local fisheries products.

Public consultation on ocean governance


The European Commission has launched a public consultation to gather perspectives on how the EU can contribute to achieving better international ocean governance, for the benefit of sustainable blue growth. On the basis of the results and other sources of data and information, the European Commission will consider how best to develop a more coherent, comprehensive and effective EU policy on improving the international ocean governance framework. Further details 

Consultation on ocean governance 

Women in the seafood industry – a worldwide FAO study

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization’s GLOBEFISH Programme has published the results of a worldwide study into the role of women in the seafood industry. The first of its kind, this report presents what is known and what remains to be investigated on this important subject, while aiming to raise the awareness of policy makers and business leaders on the essential role that women play in the industry and the inequity they experience. Despite the serious lack of data that the study reveals, the report identifies a series of cultural and societal barriers and discrimination towards women in the industry, in which they make up around 50% of the workforce. Roles between men and women, however, are sharply differentiated with women extremely dominant in sectors such as processing but largely absent in leadership positions and policy-making. Click here to access the full report and executive summary. 

Operational Programmes 2014 - 2020

The European Commission has recently launched the EMFF country files page which presents the adopted Operational Programmes (OPs) for the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). In December 2014, the Latvian Operational Programme became the first to be approved by the European Commission. The package seeks to enhance the competiveness, sustainability and viability of the sector. The programme aims to more than treble aquaculture production, and to increase net profits for fishermen without compromising sustainability.

More information on the available operational programmes and country fact sheets here