Protecting vulnerable marine ecosystems in the EU: how to improve EU policy-making?

EU Parliament Brussels | Altiero Spinelli 1E2



Vulnerable marine systems landscape

How to foster sustainable fishing and seafood production while minimising the impact on our marine ecosystems? This question will be the focal point of our seminar on protecting vulnerable marine ecosystems in the EU. Please join us for a debate with policymakers and stakeholders from the sector as well as the academic field, to talk about the role of European policymaking in finding this delicate balance, taking place in the European Parliament, in Brussels.

Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs) are groups of species, communities or habitats that may be vulnerable to impacts from human activities, including fishing. Since 2006, the international community has undertaken substantial initiatives to safeguard VMEs, notably seamounts and corals, recognising their importance and value. Demonstrating a commitment to conservation, the European Union has implemented stringent fisheries management tools.

Considering the growing fishery area-closures experienced across European seas and the resulting spatial constraints on fishing grounds, it is imperative to shape decision-making rooted in the best available science. This also requires comprehensive socio-economic analysis and active engagement with the sector.

For this reason, we will take this opportunity to discuss challenges and opportunities in the VME setting process and to showcase the difficulties faced by certain vessels affected by newly established VMEs. We want to identify where the science and the scientific process can be improved, including fundamental socio-economic considerations, and streamline stakeholder engagement.

Please register below to join us for this debate.

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Draft programme

15:00-15:05 Welcome & Introduction

Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Renew MEP, Renew Europe PECH Coordinator

15:05-15:50 Panel discussion

Moderated by Pierre Karleskind, Chair PECH committee, Renew Europe MEP

Scientific Panel

  • Mr José Manuel González Irusta, IEO
  • Francois Bastardie, DTU Aqua

“Examine the socioeconomic effects of safeguarding Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs) in the EU alongside enhancing scientific processes and stakeholder involvement”

  • Prof. Gonzalo Rodríguez, Coordinator of the fishing economics and natural resources research group at the University of Santiago de Compostela

Stakeholder Panel

  • Mr Matthew Gianni, Co-founder, political and policy advisor, Deep Sea Conservation Coalition
  • Mr Iván López van der Veen, President of EBFA

15:50-16:00 Moderate Discussion

Reaction from European Commission, Fabrizio Donatella, DG MARE Director

16:00-16:25 Q&A discussion with participants

16:25-16:30 Closing remarks

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