The first meeting of the Community of Practices (CoP) on Sustainable Blue Economy (SBE) lead to the identification of the mayor challenges for offshore aquaculture. Nature inclusive maritime business area (or so called “MariParks”) was seen by the CoP as an interesting idea to tackle these challenges. It was decided to elaborate on this idea during the second CoP meeting, which was held in Rotterdam on the 16th of June.
Olli Rönka explained that the Finnish MSP aims at Blue Growth while maintaining the environmental space. Regarding aquaculture, there is in Finland a focus on fish farming. It is believed that MariParks can further increase the potential for aquaculture. Kalavaltio (“fish nation”) was identified as suitable area for aquaculture in government-owned sea areas. The government provides data for environmental permit for companies to apply or applies the permit on behalf of the companies. .
“Basic infrastructure development by public authorities is not new and should not be considered exceptional”, stated Rogier van Steennis. In the case of MariPark, public “interference” models (PPP) could be a potential solution as required investments for scale are substantial and probably (permanently) out of reach for many entrepreneurs. Moreover, public funding can accelerate economic growth in the near future, creating equal impact for every initiative and not only the first movers.
The idea of a MariPark is in line with the European and national strategies to promote sustainable blue economy and contribute to the Green Deal. Bert Groenendaal explained that it can act as a tool to stimulate SBE by offering zone(s) at sea for marine activities, in analogy with business parks on land. Specifically for SMEs, additional support in production, testing and Research & Development related to offshore aquaculture is needed. Responsibilities to install or manage the MariPark should be divided between public and private entities. The former can guarantee quality and standards of the park infrastructure whereas the latter can move faster at lower price.
This community will continue to collaborate on Sustainable Blue Economy the coming months and years.
Information on the upcoming event is HERE.
This Community of Practice (CoP) is organized as part of the eMSP NSBR project (Emerging ecosystem-based maritime spatial planning topics in the North and Baltic Sea Regions) and focuses on the learning strand ‘sustainable blue economy’. We invite several experts from the North Sea and Baltic Sea regions to develop a strong community around the development of sustainable blue economy and marine spatial planning as a potential driver.
Prepared by dr. ir. Lien Loosvelt (De Blauwe Cluster VZW) & Margarita Vološina (VASAB Secretariat) September, 2022