On Monday 3rd of May the European Network of Maritime Clusters (ENMC) had a (digital) meeting with Pascal Lamy, Chairman of the Starfish 2030 mission Committee, and Geneviève Pons, representing the Assembly surrounding the Committee.
The aim of the meeting was to connect the maritime clusters, as important stakeholder of the blue economy, with the EU Starfish 2030 mission project.
The previous Commission had identified five major priorities which are now being addressed in the context of the Horizon Europe program for the period 2021 – 2027: fighting cancer, adapting to climate change, green cities, soil regeneration and, finally, preserving marine and aquatic systems.
Each mission will operate as a portfolio of actions – such as research projects, policy measures or even legislative initiatives – to achieve a measurable goal that could not be achieved through individual actions. The missions will contribute to the goals of the European Green Deal, Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan as well as the Sustainable Development Goals.
The importance of healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters.
Healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters are vital for our societies and the future of our planet. They are the lungs of our planet, producing half of the oxygen we breathe. They are a source of healthy food, contributing 16% of the animal protein we eat. They are the planet’s largest carbon sink and have absorbed 26% of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. They are home to the richest biodiversity on our planet. They are the source of all life on Earth and our planet’s life-support system. They supply freshwater, renewable energy and provide benefits associated with our well-being, cultural values, tourism, trade, and transport.
A mission will be a powerful tool to raise awareness among citizens of the importance of healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters, and help develop solutions on a range of issues.
Targets by 2030: cleaning marine and fresh waters, restoring degraded ecosystems and habitats, decarbonizing the blue economy in order to sustainably harness the essential goods and services they provide. The mission Starfish is focusing on:
One of the first targets will be cleaner ships, reducing underwater noise and the importance of a European shipping strategy including retrofitting of ships and a supporting financial system.
For centuries the people of Europe are going beyond their horizon and we have been exploring new trade routes all over the world, for this we are training seafarers, building ships and ports. Also we are extracting energy from the sea, more and more sustainable energy like off shore wind and tidal energy. We are building specialized ships and equipment. We depend for our food from the sea, we have our fisherman and aquaculture. We are protecting ourselves from the seas or reclaiming land while our navy’s are protecting us. We continuously are developing new knowledge, doing research and are training people to ensure we have a skilled workforce.
And let not forgot to enjoy from the sea and the coasts with the beaches in our free time , we have a large fleet of recreational boats, even enormous famous super yachts, but also a strong inland water systems.
And this is all served by a very large group of maritime specialists in insurance, finance, inspection, classification societies, pilots, maritime schools, lawyers etc etc.
With a workforce of 5 million and a turnover off €750 billion creating an added value of €218 billion, the Blue Economy in Europe is sizeable and strategic, not only for the wellbeing of the people but also for securing our trade routes, food and energy supply. We have an integrated maritime ecosystem in Europe from a strategic importance. Innovation, global competitiveness and sustainability are important drivers.
As far as the maritime clusters are concerned we also want to continue this in the centuries still to come.
We do realize that for this we need sustainable healthy Oceans, Seas, Coastal and inland waters. A balance must be founded and in stead of exploiting the seas we must take care by just harvesting.
Therefor the marine clusters will have a strong focus on the decarbonization of ships, and even wants to sail with emission free ships. More digitalization, smart maintenance and autonomous operations will make sailing safer.
For this we need more knowledge, more data and a lot of smart people on Research and development to ensure new technology being able to use new sustainable energy sources. With the support of the European and local governments we are convinced we can already take steps in this coming decade contributing to healthy oceans, Seas, Coastal and Inland Waters.
We looking forward to make the connection with mission Starfish and to contribute to Healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters.
Following this introduction meeting more meetings will follow to ensure we link the mission Starfish with the scope and members of ENMC.