June 5 is World Environment Day. And the environment is not just about, the climate, soil, air, or water…but also about the seas…so the United Nations officially recognise June 8 as World Oceans Day.
Quite logically then, the Members of the European Parliament have their eyes on oceans and “blue” related matters. To keep them updated, we recently produced several briefings and information source selections that you may well be interested to discover – or rediscover.
The theme for this year’s World Environment Day is “Think. Eat. Save” – focusing on reducing food waste.
Do you know that the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that over 7 million tonnes of dead fish are discarded (i.e. thrown back) in world oceans per year? If, like many, you see this as an unacceptable waste of resources, you might like to read our briefing on discards in fisheries. We look at how European fisheries could tackle the issue in the future.
And if you want to delve deeper into the subject, our sources of selected references on Mediterranean fisheries or the current issues in fishing in deep-seas, particularly fragile ecosystems, may interest you.
Although the oceans have been a primary source of food for millennia, they increasingly exploited for other purposes. Europe’s seas and coastal areas offer opportunities for job creation and sustainable economic growth. Support for different sectors of the marine and maritime economy can help to foster ‘blue growth’ in the EU – read all about it in our briefing on the EU blue growth strategy.
The more activities develop at sea, the greater the competition for access to ocean space and resources. Blue development has to happen in an organised way – so we also looked at spatial planning for the blue economy, a participatory process which it is hoped will reduce conflict between users of the seas’ resources.
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