EU coastal states failing on “Blue Growth”: study

Posted By Stop Illegal Fishing:2nd Oct, 2018: Blue Economy · Research · Sustainability

In recent years, the European Union (EU) coastal states have moved backward rather than forward in terms of sustainable use of the seas, a recent study by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) showed.

According to this study, almost all EU coastal states are in a worse position in 2018 than they were in 2012 with regard to sustainable development of their seas and oceans.

This trend is particularly worrisome because sustainable growth in all marine and maritime sectors is not only a declared objective of the EU but is also firmly embedded in the sustainable development goals (SDGs) of the United Nations Agenda 2030.

Wilfried Rickels, a researcher at IfW and the study’s author, points to the study’s most conspicuous underachievers: “Sweden, Spain, Ireland, and especially Portugal show significantly lower scores in 2018 than in 2012.” The only country to have made progress is Estonia, he added.

In their study, researchers analyzed various indicators of “blue growth” in EU coastal states on the North Sea, Baltic Sea, and the Atlantic. EU coastal states from the Mediterranean region were not included due to a lack of data. Examples of the indicators used include potential nutrient input into the sea and the state of fish stocks in terms of quantities considered biologically sustainable as well as economic facets, such as the sustainability of tourism.

“We found a drop in indicators relating to fishing in particular,” says Rickels. Compared with 2012, catches of fish stocks with a biomass below the biomass reference points set by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) have increased significantly.

Source: Xinhua

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