We are pleased to announce that we have a new publication in 'Open Access News': 'Healthy biodiversity: The key to reaching the blue bioeconomy’s full potential' (authored by EMBRC Executive Director Nicolas Pade and EMBRC Communications Officer Sabrina Gaber). A summary is provided below.
Europe’s blue economy provides 4.5 million jobs in diverse sectors including shipping, aquaculture, fisheries, and tourism. Yet, there are still many areas that are underexploited and could contribute significantly to addressing Europe’s societal challenges (e.g., health, food security, sustainable/clean energy). Most importantly, the blue economy needs to be managed in a sustainable manner and protected.
To achieve biodiversity recovery, we must monitor, observe, and predict the oceans/seas and their biodiversity over seasons and time. To establish new marine protected areas (MPAs), we first need to know where the bulk of our biodiversity is, where it goes, and the critical habitats to maintain or restore.
While there are many ongoing efforts to monitor and observe the oceans and ocean life in Europe, there are currently very few (if any) coordinated permanent, long-term monitoring and observation initiatives funded by the European Union or its individual member states. This lack of observation and prediction capacity in Europe ultimately prevents us from optimising our exploitation of the blue bioeconomy.
European-level efforts to restore marine biodiversity must go hand-in-hand with additional individual, company-level, and country-level initiatives. Unless we have a multi-tiered approach (individual, company, state, Europe), we will not be able to restore the seas and their biodiversity to healthy and sustainable states. The blue bioeconomy is an opportunity waiting to be fully seized, but it requires a change of policy, habits, and investment in the right capabilities!