How the government of Catalonia is building a unique model with a decentralized, multi-actor decision-making approach to the seas

Source: Catalan International View

The fisheries industry in the Mediterranean is currently at a crossroads. Despite having implemented the Common Fisheries Policy in the region for decades, most assessed fished stocks –over 90%– are considered overexploited and most fleet segments struggle for economic viability. 

Prompted by this dismal situation, following a conference in Catania, Sicily, last year the EC initiated a process aimed at leading to a permanent recovery in fish stocks and the creation of much improved conditions for the fishing industry. The recent Ministerial Conference on Mediterranean Fisheries, held in Malta in late March 2017, resulted in an important Declaration reaffirming this political commitment at the highest level.

Catalonia, with a fishing fleet of roughly 800 boats, still harbours a robust fisheries sector, which is vital to the economic fabric of coastal communities and is needed to form the backbone of its future national maritime strategy. The Catalan government, with a view to rising to the challenges presented by this important moment in time, has been working for over a year on a highly innovative and unique fisheries management approach tailored to the country’s fishing characteristics.

Read more


EUCC se suma a una petición conjunta de pidiendo el fin de los subsidios perversos en la UE

Carta conjunta de más de 100 entidades de toda Europa pidiendo el fin de los subsidios perversos

La próxima semana el Parlamento Europeo votará un nuevo informe titulado “Gestión de las flotas pesqueras en las regiones ultraperiféricas (2016/2016(INI))” en el que se propone, entre otros aspectos, la posibilidad de conceder subvenciones para la construcción de nuevos barcos pesqueros. De hecho, el propio Parlamento Europeo ya prohibió este tipo de ayudas públicas para la construcción de nuevos buques hace más de una década y más recientemente, en 2014, volvió a omitir la concesión de tales subvenciones.

Reintroducir este tipo de ayudas podría socavar la aplicación de la Política Pesquera Común y enviaría una señal equivocada al mundo, puesto que va en contra de todas las medidas y objetivos que se han ido adoptando en los últimos años tanto a en Europa como a nivel internacional. Concretamente, en los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible de las Naciones Unidas (ODS 14) especifica la necesidad de acabar con los subsidios perversos para 2020.

Por otro lado, en las negociaciones llevadas a cabo en el marco de la Organización Mundial del Comercio, la UE aboga por la prohibición de los subsidios pesqueros que contribuyan a la sobrecapacidad y la sobrepesca. Por todo esto, las más de 100 entidades que firman esta carta consideran que aprobar esta tipo de ayudas supondría establecer un mal precedente tanto para otras flotas pesqueras dentro de la Unión Europea, como para las flotas de otras partes del mundo.

Strengthen blue and green economy is urgent for a sustainable development of the Mediterranean area

The first edition of the Blue Eco Forum, co-organized by eco-union, EUCC and Fundació ENT, brought together around twenty international experts to focus on the sustainable challenges of the Mediterranean region.
A report by eco-union, GEC and MIO-ECSDE places Spain among the countries lacking an up-to-date policy strategy for sustainable development, together with Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Egypt and Slovenia
More than 90% of fish stocks in the Mediterranean are overexploited and many species, such as hake, are declining
Marine waste, the refugee crisis, the sea and coast managements and the blue economy development, are among the topics discussed in the forum, held at the Museu Marítim of Barcelona

Promoting policies to reach blue and green economy is fundamental to guarantee the sustainability of the Mediterranean area in the future. This was one of the conclusions highlighted by the twenty international experts who participated in the first edition of the Blue Eco Forum, which brought together representatives of public, private and third sector at the Maritime Museum of Barcelona. In this sense, Spain is among the Mediterranean countries whose strategy of Green Economy and sustainable development policy is out of date, along with Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cyprus, Egypt and Slovenia, according to a report on 20 countries in the area Mediterranean that has been shared during the Blue Eco Forum.
The ‘Green Economy Report’, an initiative from eco-union, Green Economy Coalition (GEC) and MIO-ECSDE, was officially launched last week at COP-22 in Marrakech. The main conclusion is that only five countries in the Mediterranean area – France, Italy, Morocco, Portugal and Tunisia – have an adequate Green Economy and Sustainable Development policy. These types of policies take into account aspects such as the participation of citizens in the development process and respect for ecological limits and social equality. As said, Spain, has no strategy and the remaining countries – Algeria, Croatia, Greece, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Montenegro, Palestine and Turkey – are at an intermediate point between the two previous groups.
The study was based on a review of existing policies and a survey of 300 international experts coming from the countries analyzed. The report also includes a series of recommendations for a transition towards a green and blue economy in the Mediterranean area. “Embracing the Green Economy and Sustainable Development policies is perhaps the only option that could make a more secure, equitable and prosperous society in the Mediterranean region in the future“ said Jeremie Fosse, eco-union president, director of the Blue Eco Forum and one of the authors of the study.
The Secretary of Environment and Sustainability of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Marta Subirà, who was in charge of inaugurating the day, highlighted: “The sea has always been driving our economy and offers an important potential for innovation and growth. This economic engine must be compatible with the preservation of marine ecosystems and must ensure the sustainability of future generations. We have to work to boost the blue economy, since the economy we have known so far has not solved the challenges of our planet. We are talking about a non-polluting, circular and efficient economy that uses sustainable resources and patterns and reduces environmental risks. These are characteristics that should be included in the same concept of economy. “
90% of fish stocks are overexploited
Among the many challenges to be overcome in order to achieve a sustainable development of the Mediterranean Sea and its environment, should be included clear measures that curb the current overfishing that is threatening numerous species. “This is a critical moment for the health of the Mediterranean Sea. Currently, over 90% of the fish stocks evaluated are overexploited and many species, such as hake, are in sharp decline. For these reasons it is essential to establish bridges between the administration, fishermen, the scientific community and civil society to collectively seek strategies that will enable us to ensure future fishing and restore the health of marine ecosystems, “said Lydia Chaparro, Marine ecologist of the ENT Foundation and responsible for the workshop on fisheries at the Blue Eco Forum.
The marine litter management is another aspect that was addressed throughout the different sessions of the forum. In this regard, Carolina Pérez, director of the EUCC Center Mediterrani and moderator of the workshop on marine litter, said: “The Mediterranean, because of its physical, demographic and socio-economic characteristics, is one of the seas of the planet most affected by marine litter. Although the problem was identified decades ago, it reached the political agenda recently as one of the millennium’s challenges. We have been given a political and legal framework to develop instruments to reduce it and has been invested in a more coherent way to deepen the knowledge of the problem. That is why the Blue Eco Forum takes place at the ideal moment to know the latest advances, identify gaps, knowledge and define the priorities to get closer to the reduction targets agreed for 2020 in Europe and 2025 For the whole Mediterranean area “.
Multiple crises in the Mediterranean area
Coastal and maritime policy strategies, migration, governance and participatory processes in the Mediterranean region were also present in the forum. “The Mediterranean Sea, which has united us for centuries, is suffering multiple crises that threaten our common future: refugee waves, environmental catastrophes, social inequalities and unemployment. At the Blue Eco Forum we have reflected collectively on how we can re-create a space of prosperity and security in the Mediterranean that involves civil society, business and governments “said Jeremie Fosse, director of the Blue Eco Forum.
“If we are unable to welcome our Mediterranean comrades who suffer from war and hunger, it will not only mean that the sea is sick, it will mean that our entire community is seak,” added Ecology Commissioner of the Barcelona City Council, Frederic Ximeno Present at the opening session of the day. “We must promote actions to make Barcelona a benchmark of Mediterranean cities that want to change the logic of the current situation.”
Blue Eco Festival
The program of the Blue Eco Forum was completed with the cultural agenda of the Blue Eco Festival, with activities were opened to citizen participation, such as the project exhibition Marviva, the screening of the environmental documentary ‘Desierto Líquido’ with the presence of the directors, and a mapping and visual art show projected on the façade of the Maritime Museum.

Save The Date > Blue Eco Forum > 25/11 > Barcelona

diapositiva1Come to the 1st Conference and Festival for a more Sustainable Mediterranean Sea

The 1st Blue eco forum will be held on Friday 25th of November 2016 at the Maritime Museum in Barcelona. This unique event, co-organized by 4 international environmental NGOs, including EUCC Mediterranean Centre, and supported by several public institutions, will gather more than 30 international speakers and around 200 participants to discuss and promote the sustainability of the Mediterranean Sea.

In particular, the Blue eco forum, labelled as an official Marrakech COP-22 side-event, aims to:

·      Reflect on the economic, environmental and social state of the Mediterranean region.

·      Debate on the Blue Economy challenges and opportunities.

·      Imagine new models of Governance for a better management of the Sea.

·      Promote actions and solutions to avoid marine litter and reduce over-fishing.

During the day you will be able to attend high-level plenary debates with international speakers and participate to thematic workshops with relevant experts and policy makers. During the evening educational and cultural activities will be organized aimed at a broader local audience.

Don’t wait, book your free seat now! Registration

And follow us: @global_ecoforum  /   #BlueEF

EUCC se suma a otras ONGs para exigir al Ministerio un compromiso en los límites de pesca

El Centro Mediterráneo EUCC, junto con numerosas otras organizaciones, ha remitido una carta a la Ministra española de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente, Isabel García Tejerina, para solicitarle límites de pesca sostenibles en línea con la Política Pesquera Común (PPC), que exige el fin de la sobrepesca en 2015 siempre que sea posible y, de forma progresiva y paulatina, no más tarde de 2020 para todas las poblaciones.

Concretamente, en la carta, las organizaciones firmantes solicitan a la Ministra Tejerina que, durante el Consejo de Ministros de Pesca que tendrá lugar el próximo diciembre en Bruselas (momento en el que se negociarán los límites de pesca para 2017 para las principales especies comerciales del Atlántico Nordeste), se respete el consejo científico y demuestre su compromiso en alcanzar los objetivos marcados en la PPC.

Las entidades firmantes de la carta celebran los progresos realizados en los últimos años en la reducción del nivel promedio de sobrepesca, pero a su vez, advierten que según el último informe del Comité Científico, Técnico y Económico de Pesca de la UE (CCTEP), más del 60% de las poblaciones evaluadas de la UE están aún fuera de los límites biológicos de seguridad y casi la mitad permanecen sujetas a sobrepesca. Motivos por los que las veintiocho organizaciones solicitan a la Ministra progresos claros y tangibles hacia el fin de la sobrepesca en el menor tiempo posible, así como informes socio-económicos en aquellos casos donde alcanzar los objetivos de la PPC pusiesen en serio peligro la sostenibilidad socioeconómica de las flotas implicadas.

La carta se encuentra disponible aquí.


Pesca perdida en África Occidental

La investigación de ‘big data’ que destapa irregularidades en la actividad pesquera en África Occidental.

La Fundación porCausa y el Overseas Development Institute (ODI) presentan en exclusiva el revelador informe “Western Africa’s missing fish”, sobre la captura reportada de menos por flotas extranjeras y el impacto de la pesca ilegal, no declarada y no reportada (INDNR).

Convocatoria de presentación

Lunes 4 de julio de 2016, 11h
Sala Alameda 1 de Medialab-Prado. c/ Alameda, 15. 28014 Madrid
Metro y Cercanías Atocha. Buses EMT 6, 10, 14, 19, 26, 27, 32, 34, 37 y 45. Estación BiciMad 67.

Un adelanto:

Un informe del Overseas Development Institute –el mayor centro de estudios sobre desarrollo del Reino Unido— y la Fundación PorCausa –una organización de periodismo de investigación— utiliza por primera vez análisis big data para profundizar en el problema de la sobrepesca en África Occidental, usando la mayor base de datos de buques pesqueros del mundo propiedad de la organización española FishSpektrum.

El estudio es revolucionario porque relaciona información que jamás se había comparado antes, y saca a la luz, con nuevas tecnologías, datos que se desconocían hasta ahora, con enorme relevancia para la legislación contra la pesca ilegal y sus consecuencias sobre el desarrollo de la región.

La sobrepesca está esquilmando los océanos del mundo y las capturas ilegales son uno de los grandes causantes de esta crisis. Este estudio contribuye de manera determinante a entender un fenómeno complejo y opaco.