Study highlights opportunities for Blue Growth in the Mediterranean

Brussels, 15 July – A new study, prepared for European Commission DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, has found that establishing maritime zones, such as Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs), in the Mediterranean – as States are legally entitled to under international maritime law – would make large strides towards the EU’s Blue Growth and Sustainability agendas

Brussels, 15 July – A new study, prepared for European Commission DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, has found that establishing maritime zones, such as Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs), in the Mediterranean – as States are legally entitled to under international maritime law – would make large strides towards the EU’s Blue Growth and Sustainability agendas

EEZs would allow for improved governance and spatial planning, helping to attract investment and economic activities to tapped unused opportunities in the five strategic areas identified by the Commission’s Blue Growth Strategy as having high potential: blue energy; aquaculture; maritime, coastal and cruise tourism; marine mineral resources and blue biotechnology.

The Commission’s Strategy, from September 2012, aims to create sustainable economic growth and employment in the marine and maritime economy, to help economic recovery. These sectors provide 5.4 million jobs and create value of around €500 billion. It is hoped that by 2020 these will have risen to 7 million and €600 billion, respectively.

It is the responsibility of individual States to regulate human activity and develop sustainable blue industry, with the EU playing a co-ordinating role. However, much of the sea is out of the jurisdiction of EU States and is therefore largely unprotected.

Click to read the study, ‘Costs and benefits arising from the establishment of maritime zones in the Mediterranean Sea’, or its separate Executive Summary.

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