Maritime Forum

Maritime Forum Themes


Outcome of European Maritime Day Burgas 2018

Published on: Thu, 14/06/2018 - 19:41
Table of Contents
    insights from 18 workshops, spanning existing, new and emerging topics across the marine and maritime spectrum

    Presentations and list of speakers are available on the website

    Aquaculture & sustainable fisheries

    Towards 2030: Fostering a Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector

    The Atlantic Arc Commission of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR)

    The workshop experts discussed the general situation of Fisheries in Galicia, including CLLDs projects and their thoughts concerning the upcoming programming period. The workshop was intended to focus on suggestions for the next European Maritime and Fisheries Fund ahead of the submission of the official proposal for the new programming period. 

    The discussions generated the following conclusions:

    • A degree of both flexibility and responsibility must be given to EMFF Managing Authorities in terms of allocation of money to stakeholders. 
    • There is a paradox between the potential broadening of the objectives of post-2020 EMFF and the reduction of the overall budget. 
    • The success of the Community Led Local Development (CLLD) approach has  impacted on changing mindsets across stakeholders.

    The Landing Obligation and the EMFF Programmes

    DG-MARE Fisheries and Aquaculture Monitoring and Evaluation Support Unit

    Workshop speakers presented legal and practical aspects of implementation of the landing obligation. An interactive follow-up discussion at the end of workshop drew out the following conclusions:

    • By-catch, and discards are a common problem in many fisheries; it has an impact on stock sustainability and biodiversity and needs to be contained.
    • The landing obligation is not the solution to all problems but it is crucial in addressing the issue and creating a baseline of knowledge of the volume and composition of discards and creating awareness.
    • The implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP)  and the landing obligation requires support. TheEMFF supports fishermen to improve gear selectivity and in handling discards to comply with the landing obligation. Bringing the policy closer to the fishering community  and monitoring the effect of the EMFF investments remain challenging. However, this also closes many knowledge gaps and helps to make informed policy decisions.
    • -              Discards have a value: for example, they can be used as fodder, in cosmetics and for energy.. However there are limitations, especially in logistics, infrastructure and the steady availability of discards’ biomass. Last but not least, the policy goal remains to reduce by-catch. No false incentives should be created.

    Blue Bioeconomy

    Towards A Shared Vision for the Blue Bioeconomy

    Join Programming Initiative Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans

    This workshop concluded that there is a need to raise more awareness about the potential of the Blue Bioeconomy to meet different policy objectives (climate change, circular economy, food security, economic growth and employment), and to increase the uptake of the blue bioeconomy by key actors (industry, consumers investors). A key, additionalconclusion from the workshop was that more needs to be done to create more synergies between sectors, including traditional and new blue bioeconomy sectors, and the marine and land-based bioeconomy. It is also important to face the challenge of the high risk investment involved in innovative sectors when trying to attract investment by taking a value-chain approach, seeking market solutions and showing results with demonstration and flagship projects.  

    Coastal and Marine Environment

    The Collection of Ship Generated Waste and Cargo Residues: an EU Approach

    Euroshore International VZW

    Marine ecosystems are under severe pressure and the sustainability of the oceans is a global concern. To enhance protection of the marine environment, discharges of waste at sea need to be reduced. Representatives of the European Commission and Bulgarian ports infrastructure focused both on political and practical measures to better manage ship generated waste in ports.

    The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a new Directive on Port Reception Facilities for the delivery of waste from ships, which will replace the current Directive 2000/59/EC, and should align the EU regime better with the MARPOL Convention. The proposed Directive aims at reducing the discharges of waste at sea by ensuring that (1) adequate waste reception facilities are available in ports and (2) that ships deliver their waste to those facilities. As such, the proposed Directive contributes to the Circular Economy by addressing the problem of marine litter from ships by focusing on the delivery of garbage to port reception facilities.

    Marine Litter Solutions: from Policies to Action

    Black Sea NGO Network, Rethink Plastic Alliance

    Marine litter and plastic pollution is a global problem and it affects us all. Excellent workshop speakers provided diverse perspectives on current challenges and possible solutions to address marine litter problems. The following action points were drawn from the presentations made and from follow up discussions:

    • The knowledge base of marine litter and plastics pollution needs to be widened and the understanding of those needs to be improved
    • A baseline assessment of marine litter in European seas should  be undertaken
    • Basin wide information networks for exchange and data should  be created
    • Regional action plans on marine litter should  be adopted and implemented
    • We need innovative, ground breaking policy and technological solutions to solve marine litter issues
    • We need to design and implement a variety of instruments and good practices: including those which are market oriented, administrative, legislative andvoluntary.
    • Apply suitable  technological and scientific solutions to clean up and recycling
    • Work towards changing consumer behaviour as well as  attitudes of society and businesses towards waste
    • To stimulate bottom-up policy and initiatives, more needs to be done in the areas of citizen science, stewardship of the environment, treating waste as a resource and targeting groups across society for education / information.

    Digitalisation & Big Data for Maritime Applications

    Digitalisation & Big Data for Maritime Applications

    Sea Traffic Management Validation Project, Sea Traffic Management Validation Project (STM), Swedish Maritime Administration European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet)

    The workshop discussed the impact and desirable outcome of digitisation in 4 different areas: tourism, shipping,  maritime security and fFishing

    Desirable application methods, challenges and necessary outcomes were tackled, with conclusions as follows:

    • There is no shortage to the amount of maritime data which are being generated and are being collected by all actors directly, or as a by-product of their activity.
    • Data are however not easily accessible in all cases for technical reasons or because of reluctance to share.
    • Cybersecurity is an obvious but essential part of all digitalisation and big data applications

    On more and better uses of information in a digital world, the following conclusions were reached:

    • Data need to be treated or managed better in order to make them accessible across sectoral or thematic boundaries
    • In line with trends on other areas / sectors, consumers and citizens expect to be able to access digitalisalised data. Digitalisation and big data applications must take this into account.

    Augmented reality, and artificial intelligence solutions offer real opportunities, particularly regarding shipping, security, and environment/tourism related applications.

    Sea Basin Cooperation & Marine Research&Innovation

                    Regional Strategies and Maritime Cooperation: Now and in the Future

    Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR), Interact/Knowledge of the Seas Network

    The experts and participants in this workshops focused discussions on the added value of sea-basin or macro-regional strategies and tried to look forward in identifying avenues for improving the synergies between the two types of cooperation frameworks in regions with a maritime dimension.

    It became evident that regional strategic frameworks (RSF) provide a common vision and common priorities in understanding joint challenges and opportunities, as well as the possibility to put single actors and activities into the bigger picture (‘1+1=3’). To create joint ownership and commitment in the implementation of the agreed RSFs, one should involve all levels of actors (national, regional, local, triple helix, citizens etc.) Looking beyond 2020, agreeing a common policy/vision should precede the establishment of a governance mechanism. It is essential that funding programmes are demand-oriented and support the agreed policy/vision, to provide the necessary complementarities (aligned/blended/linked) and allow for the use of different funding sources to implement the RSF.

    Added Value of Cross-Regional Cooperation

    BONUS, the joint Baltic Sea research and development programme, BLUEMED Coordination and Support Action, National Research Council of Italy

    The workshop aimed to showcase what Research, Technology, Development and Innovation (RTDI) in regional seas can provide in support of sustainable Blue Growth in Europe. The RTDI activities in the regional seas create a strong European added value and contribute significantly to a broad spectrum of regional and European agendas as well as to alignment of strategies at international level. Case-studies from 3 European regional seas were presented: the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

    There is a common, overarching challenge in different regional seas of Europe: developing the full potential of Blue Growth while achieving and maintaining a good environmental status of the sea (SDGs, EU directives etc). To achieve this, unifying approaches need to be identified and common targets set through the identification of potential synergies, as well as facilitating a stronger sharing culture for exchanging best practice among different European ‘sister’ programmes. The rapid developments in the past decade show that now is the best time for initiating cooperation among  European regional R&I initiatives & programmes in support of sustainable Blue Growth. For this purpose, a systematic cooperation network among these initiatives and programmes should be sought.

    Ports and Clusters as Innovation Hubs

    Ports and Clusters as Drivers for Economic Growth in European Territories

    Pole Mer Mediterranee - Toulon Var Technologies, Marine Cluster Bulgaria

    The workshop brought together cluster managers from FR, BG and NL, and projects aiming at boosting cluster networking and collaboration across borders. There was a vivid exchange about cluster patterns and common problems in management and collaboration within clusters and across borders, within the EU. It became clear that successful clusters are usually a result of a local initiative aiming at stimulating traditional territorial specialisations in a given coastal area or port and boosting traditional maritime economic activities (for example, shipbuilding, ship maintenance, reconversion, ship repair). Nurturing a strong relationship between private enterprises, government, research institutes and schools is an ingredient forf success. Clusters can help measure blue economies (via a dedicated observatory) and identify opportunities for SMEs and micro and small enterprises. EU funding can support the latter through grants. Finally, common areas of support provided by clusters in the EU to their members are: 1. Reinforcing human capital/blue careers;  2. Embracing R&D, innovation (sustainability) and contributing to social challenges; 3. Boosting internationalisation/ trade, creating new  business opportunities and supporting efforts to create a level playing field.

    Maritime Security, Surveillance and Information Exchange

    Achievements of the CISE's Reference Implementation

    Italian Space Agency, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Secretariat General de la Mer

    Maritime security and surveillance experts and representatives of EU Member States authorities offered reflections and view on the transition from  EUCISE2020 pre-operational validation project to the operational phase of CISE – the Common Information Sharing Environment for the EU Maritime domain (to be achieved in 2020):

    • The development of CISE has significantly contributed over the years to 1) building up an effective collaboration and a high degree of confidence between European military and civilian authorities, and 2) to facilitating a technological advancement and a unique opus in the current European landscape, able to support an increased security of the European seas and its citizens, and contributing substantially to the development of the Blue Economy.
    • The interoperability standards proposed by CISE could encourage authorities to invest more resources in the exchange of information across Europe. This would benefit the European industry, in providing solutions, adapted to the standard (stable, mature) and would promote new and advanced interactions between communities, aiming to improve collection, fusion, analysis, optimization and dissemination of information.
    • The implementation of CISE should preserve its fundamental principles (voluntary participation, decentralized exchanges, etc) and ensure full complementarity with the mandatory exchanges performed through the EU systems.
    • The transition phase should start soon after the end of EUCISE2020 project, to fully benefit from: pre-operationally validated solutions, the network of authorities already realized and the competence, knowledge, experience, and investments made, and to also take into account efforts and results achieved in the dedicated national interoperability projects. Therefore it would be necessary to put in place a dedicated framework that would ensure direct involvement and commitment of Member States, as well as the technical and administrative support of an EU Agency.

    Maritime Spatial Planning

    Supporting Internationally Accepted MSP Guidance

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO

    The workshop experts shared a series of successful cross-border MSP-related projects and initiatives as well as their experience on cross-border and transboundary marine spatial planning (MSP), in the regional context but also at international level. They also expanded on the process and shared lessons from these experiences, indicating whether experiences could be replicable (or not) in other contexts, highlighting good practice and fit-for-purpose solutions.

    The whole discussion was built around the IOC-UNESCO and EU-MARE Joint Roadmap to accelerate MSP worldwide. It concluded that different cultures and MSP stages between countries might be a challenge but that the partnership between governmental authorities (all levels) and researchers (EU projects focused on data and tools) are essential for the development of MSP plans and to address the transboundary issues (ecosystem functions & maritime activities). The workshop also concluded that EU legal frameworks, including different polices, provide guidance for transboundary cooperation between Member States. Finally, it established that strategies for stakeholder engagement are important to share data and to share experiences.

    Data Availability for MSP: from Jungle to Structure

    Vision and Strategies around the Baltic Sea (VASAB)

    In this workshop the majority of the experts presented the pyramid structure below. From data in the base, through which you get the information that creates the knowledge. And ideally through this knowledge you reach wisdom. Different efforts and tools of data collection were analysed.

    The key conclusions reached were: 

    • Successful implementation of MSP depends on good quality data and information
    • Data quality, accessibility and availability are crucial when considering transboundary contexts (data is an important prerequisite for creating a coherent network of maritime spatial plans)

    The panel discussion focused on the fact that we need to show not only cumulative impacts, but also to find and illustrate the synergies. Another point was raised about the INSPIRE Directive that is already in place and thus we should not need MSP to demand data collection. However, most participants noted the difficulty of applying INSPIRE and agreed upon the improvements this directive needs. Private sector data was the last question discussed and despite the fact that EIA and SEA receive data from the private sector, there are privacy issues for dissemination.

    Political will is required to facilitate sharing the same standards, collecting existing data, drafting the data plan  and collecting what is missing, as well as horizontal and vertical communication. The vision for MSP data is for 99% to be online, accessible via distributed information systems andharmonised/interoperable. It shoud also be easy-to-read,  and more attractive in terms of content, functionalities and interface.

    MSP in the Med: A Vision from Southern Europe

    Consortium for Coordination of Research Activities Concerning the Venice Lagoon System (CORILA)

    Maritime Spatial Planning experts discussed the implications of such processes within the sea-basin of the Mediterranean Sea. From concrete examples of MSP projects in the Med at local and regional level, to the jungle of data available and the testimony of the genesis of the MSP Directive, discussions revealed the specificities of the Med. The workshop conclusions are: 

    • MSP is a peace enabling process where cooperation and dialogue in general - but also at cross-border level - are pre-requisites.
    • Coordination regarding data is a key element to ensure efficient MSP: harmonisation and data management is required, to ensure  smooth use. 
    • A practical approach to MSP is needed, not only a theoretical one. MSP is a "real-life" process and pilot projects are very useful. "Think transnationally (or on a larger scale) but act locally".

    Ocean and Offshore Energy

    Floating Offshore Wind Turbines, a Key for Blue Economy and Renewable Energy

    Region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

    This workshop stressed the advantages of FOWT compared to conventional wind turbines. The joint project between the regions of Occitanie and Provence and Cote d'Azur for developing FOWT was presented and discussed. This project relies on the complementarity of the two regions (one with experience in wind power, the other in the maritime sector). FOWT remains a government-driven process, with public authorities supporting industry. Further public support is needed to develop its potential, notably on innovation, environmental studies and developing pilot projects and commercial farms. Authorities and operators have to take into consideration the following factors: consultations with and acceptance by stakeholders (including fishermen and environmental NGOs), existing infrastructure and its adaptation to this new technology and skills training.

    Ocean Literacy and Maritime Skills

    Ocean Literacy to support Blue Growth: The Way Forward


    The workshop presented different approaches to tackle ocean literacy and provided hands on experience with the following key conclusions:

    • Ocean literacy is only at its start! Despite this, there are already many initiatives, that can be used as sources of inspiration by all sectors of society (professionals, NGOs, scientists, decision makers and industry). Ocean literacy is also required for “financial investors” as well as for consumers/visiting tourists. The media also needs to be mobilised. This will need further attention. Suggestions included:
    • More sustainable support to ocean literacy,  soft measures and strengthening human capital are required in policies connected to the sea to support their implementation and to contribute to Blue Growth;
    • Common platforms involving the private sector (building on  knowledge, recognising challenges, ensuring common understanding/trust/agenda and building on positive messages) is the starting point of co-developed and effective ocean literacy that delivers change in both mindset and practice/behaviour.
    • Success needs to combine local initiatives adapted to local contexts with the involvement of “big players” of sectors as part of strategic partnerships – they can act as “role models” and multipliers. Incentives to get involved relate to economic interests (e.g. development of new sustainable business models), having clear benefits, image and access to market and capacity/interest in spreading innovation.

    Maritime Technology Skilling Strategy - Join MATES!

    Centro Tecnológico del Mar - Fundación Cetmar

    The workshop presented the MATES project - The Blueprint Strategy for sectorial skills cooperation in the  Maritime Technologies field with the following key conclusions:

    • the implementation of new technologies will require innovative training and content adapted to this challenge;
    • a wide range of skills and capacity requirements, including leadership programmes,  is needed for the marine renewable energy sector to be competitive;
    • The main gap is the need to combine theoretical knowledge with real practice from the maritime industry. Therefore, the triple helix approach (governments, education and industry) is crucial to address future labour market needs; 
    • There is a need to introduce innovative training programmes and courses to train  teachers in new technologies. In some countries, like in the Black Sea region, this can be difficult due to less adaptable and more traditional  school programmes;
    • Shipbuilding and other blue sectors  do not attract talented young people in the Black Sea;
    • Ocean literacy: the Black Sea is not yet represented at EMSEA, the main EU platform dealing with ocean literacy.

    Attendees were invited to join  the MATES expert network beyond the partnership, to participate in the construction of the strategy.

    Sustainable Marine & Coastal Tourism

    Between Green and Blue: Sustainability in Marine and Coastal Tourism

    Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization, Bologna University, Center for Advanced Studies in Tourism (CAST UNIBO)

     Speakers presented  data on the impact of mass tourism and projects working on diversifying the offer. Group discussions involved - Group 1: Reducing the ecological footprint and the environmental impacts of the tourism supply chain - Group 2: Promotion of a quality tourism offer oriented towards nature and culture - Group 3: Improving the decision-making capabilities of public authorities and coastal communities for a better planning and management of tourism activities.

    The outcomes of the discussions suggested the need for:

    • Implementing capacity building and education programmes that increase the ocean literacy of communities to manage the impacts of tourism in marine and coastal areas and develop alternative methods.
    • Adopting integrated ocean policies that leverage the circular economy and result in increased transparency and regulation. This also decreases the ecological footprint of mass tourism, and increases funding for alternative tourism development.
    • Developing strategies for better engaging public authorities, the private sector and other stakeholders in planning for sustainable tourism utilizing principles of ICZM and MSP.

    Nautical Routes: Championing Marine Ecotourism in Europe

    Travelecology (Breakaway Travel SL)

     Nautical routes are a good solution to address the challenges of nautical and coastal tourism ("the renewable energy" of nautical and coastal tourism) and can rely on the growth potential of ecotourism (marine ecotourism). The workshop identified key tools to support the development of the potential of marine ecotourism in Europe in 3 different areas. In terms of "governance", there is a need to have formal coordination platforms and expert bodies bringing public and private stakeholders together. With respect to "sustainability and innovation", participants stressed the importance of sustainability action plans, capacity building for tourism operators and destinations, connecting with citizen initiatives, or market recognition of environmental stewardship. Finally, in terms of "branding and commercialisation", the following tools were highlighted: customer profiling and market research, product development oriented to the customer's experience and celebrating nature, or connecting existing networks, including with green transport and accommodation.

    Turning Marine Litter into a Sustainable Business

    The scale of the marine litter problem is significant  and the amount of plastic in the ocean is increasing. Solutions such as getting rid of plastic by regulatory restrictions are no longer perceived to be optimal.. The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund provides an opportunity to member states to tackle the plastic litter problem (e.g. through fishing for litter actions) but much more could be done on a national level to exploit this opportunity.

    4 excellent speakers from World animal protection, Waste free oceans, Fourth Element and Plastix demonstrated that the marine litter problem could be turned into an opportunity – through sustainable business. Collaborating across areas and among different stakeholders is crucial to find common solutions. The business of plastic recycling has been in place for at least 30 years, demonstrating that capacity exists. However, recycling plastic litter from seas and especially, end of life fishing gear has common challenges ranging from practical difficulties to recycling due to many types of plastic, the presence of sand  and a lack of waste management systems and recycling facilities. Speakers provided inspiring examples of products made in Europe from marine litter and old fishing gear already on the market e.g. clothes for divers and surfers from Fourth Element, shoes by Adidas/Parley for oceans, socks by Healthy Seas Netherlands/Slovenia, furniture by Plastix/Waste Free oceans and 3D printing from nylon fishing gear by Fishy filaments.

    As regards lessons learned for the future, sustainable solutions need to be better known when dealing with marine plastic litter. There is need for inclusive business models, better incentives, reduced barriers and improved awareness raising.

     Measuring the EU Blue Economy

    This session presented and discussed recent progress in defining and measuring the EU Blue Economy, including the perspective from the Annual Economic Report on the EU Blue Economy and national experiences and economic reports in Portugal, Ireland and Italy. The session provided an overview of topics related to methodologies, better data quality and measurement tools that may lead to better policymaking. Particular emphasis was given to how these data and analytical evidence increasingly feed into the decision making process by monitoring targets in the Blue Economy.

    During the panel discussion, participants confirmed the high interest in this topic and explicitly encouraged the Commission to undertake further work, including higher disaggregation of  territorial analysis and further developing analytical methodologies (indirect impacts) and/or data collection to cover emerging sectors and the value of ecosystem services. 

    Overall, it was clear and obvious that the report was well received and that stakeholders are keen on collaborating, in an attempt to improve further editions of the report.

     Financing strategic cooperation for Blue Growth

    The session “financing strategic cooperation for Blue Growth” provided an overview of the financial sources available to support innovation in the Blue Economy as well as the challenges and opportunities they provide to stakeholders. The Facility for Blue Growth in the Black Sea set the scene by discussing the main challenges in fostering Blue Growth in the Black Sea, and focussing on the complex funding landscape. This can act as a further barrier to understanding, from what is already a farly low level of awareness from local beneficiaries and even Managing Authorities. This was complemented by DG MARE presenting the main ideas behind future EU mechanisms to support innovation in blue economy value chains and sustainable blue growth. Among others, EMFF grants will be used to support innovative businesses, in particular high-potential SMEs and start-ups, in getting their ideas to market and scaling up, as well as leveraging other appropriate sources of financing.

    Discussions highlighted the relevance of intermediaries in supporting local SMEs, so that they can benefit from the wide range of existing financial resources (public and private) available. It also highlighted the need to support strategic and targeted transnational cooperation for innovation as well as focusing support on ‘entrepreneurs’ rather than ‘grantrepreneurs’. The workshop discussions also  urged support mechanisms (such as platforms, networks and clusters)to offer high value-for-money support services to emerging businesses rather than acting as an additional bureaucratic layer.