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Lunedì 2 maggio 2022 - Strasburgo Edizione rivista

19. Un'economia blu sostenibile nell'UE: il ruolo dei settori della pesca e dell'acquacoltura (breve presentazione)
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  Sēdes vadītājs. – Nākamais darba kārtības jautājums: Isabel Carvalhais ziņojuma par ilgtspējīgu zilo ekonomiku ES: zvejniecības un akvakultūras nozaru loma (2021/2188(INI)) (A9-0089/2022) īss izklāsts.

 
  
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  Isabel Carvalhais, Relatora. – Senhor Presidente, Caros Colegas, Senhor Comissário, enquanto relatora para este relatório de iniciativa, começo por felicitar a proposta da Comissão sobre a nova estratégia para uma economia azul sustentável na União Europeia. Devo, contudo, dizer que também lamento a ausência de metas específicas para os diferentes setores, em particular para as pescas e para a aquicultura.

As pescas e a aquicultura são fundamentais para fornecer à Europa alimentos saudáveis, de elevado valor nutricional e com baixa pegada de carbono. Mas há ainda caminho longo a ser feito no sentido da sua maior sustentabilidade económica e ambiental.

Neste contexto, os nossos pescadores devem poder estar na primeira linha dos mais empenhados em que se revertam as perdas de biodiversidade marinha, devido ao grande impacto socioeconómico que tais perdas podem ter no setor das pescas da União Europeia.

Para tal, é necessário desenvolver mais ações inovadoras que impulsionem o investimento em soluções sustentáveis no setor das pescas e da aquicultura, através do financiamento ao abrigo do novo FEAMPA, em sinergia com outros programas da União Europeia como o Mecanismo de Recuperação e Resiliência.

E não esqueçamos que as áreas marinhas protegidas eficazes podem ser extremamente benéficas para a pesca e para a sustentabilidade dos recursos haliêuticos. É por isso que devem ser feitos investimentos devidamente baseados na ciência para a criação de áreas marinhas protegidas que o não sejam apenas no papel, mas que possam, sim, garantir a sustentabilidade dos recursos a longo prazo e, com ela, a sustentabilidade económica de todos os pescadores e não apenas de alguns.

Outra mensagem que desejo destacar diz respeito à abrangência da economia azul. Este amplo segmento da nossa economia abarca todas as indústrias e setores relacionados com os oceanos, os mares, áreas costeiras e até a aquicultura terrestre e a produção de algas. Mas daqui também decorre um desafio acrescido, pois falamos em setores que frequentemente têm objetivos e visões distintas, por vezes até antagónicos, o que, num contexto de ausência de ordenamento estratégico do espaço marítimo, causa danos, e é preocupante, sobretudo a setores mais frágeis, como a pesca artesanal.

A União Europeia e os Estados-Membros devem, por isso, abordar seriamente esta realidade que representa para mais um stress socioeconómico adicional sobre os ombros dos nossos pescadores.

Uma economia azul sustentável deve também incluir o desenvolvimento equilibrado das atividades emergentes, como a biotecnologia azul, a produção de energia oceânica ou o turismo, mas sempre a par das atividades mais tradicionais, como o transporte marítimo, a pesca e a aquicultura, que devem merecer igual apoio na demanda da sua sustentabilidade.

No que respeita à governança internacional dos oceanos, esta deve abordar as questões ambientais numa base intersetorial, garantindo condições equitativas e igualdade de tratamento de todas as atividades económicas marítimas. E, neste contexto, gostaria de saudar o papel das convenções marinhas regionais e das organizações regionais de gestão das pescas, com vista a reforçar a governança com base nos melhores conhecimentos científicos disponíveis.

Não posso também deixar de salientar o papel das mulheres. Em toda a cadeia de valor da pesca sustentável, elas são fundamentais, particularmente nas comunidades costeiras, devendo também elas ter acesso a condições de trabalho e rendimentos dignos, bem com uma maior visibilidade e representação nas estruturas e nos processos decisórios.

E concluo, por favor, recordando que, para aumentar a competitividade e o desempenho económico dos setores das pescas e da aquacultura, deve ser dada especial atenção também à formação profissional, à aprendizagem ao longo da vida e à divulgação de conhecimentos científicos, técnicos e práticas inovadoras e isto implica, entre outras medidas, uma cooperação mais forte e alargada entre escolas, universidades, poderes públicos e indústria, de forma a promover ações baseadas nos melhores conhecimentos científicos disponíveis, capazes de assegurar a competitividade económica, de garantir a sustentabilidade ambiental e a inclusão social destes setores tão importantes para a nossa segurança alimentar e para o futuro da nossa autonomia alimentar.

 
  
 

Catch—the—eye procedure

 
  
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  Tudor Ciuhodaru (S&D). – Eu vin dintr-o țară, România, în care această economie albastră înseamnă echilibru. Mai ales, invit pe toți să vedeți Delta Dunării, un monument al naturii care ar trebui să fie apreciat de către toată Europa. Dar, din păcate, nu suntem singuri în acest proces și ceea ce se întâmplă în zonă ne influențează viața în fiecare zi. Sper ca, după acest raport, să găsim soluțiile înțelepte și mai ales finanțarea necesară pentru ca un obiectiv pe care îl vrem viabil pentru copiii noștri să poată persista milenii. Și sper ca în acest Parlament European obiectivele României să poată fi susținute.

 
  
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  Grace O’Sullivan (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, it is time for some common sense in ocean protection and not the bare minimum proposed by some of my colleagues here today.

Protected means protected. And we must protect our marine protected areas. Let’s face it – most marine protected areas in the EU are nothing but lines on a map. In almost every MPA today, you find gas exploration, marine traffic, and yes, intensive industrial fishing. Only 10% of EU waters are so-called marine protected areas and 86% of these MPAs are bottom trawled, while trawling is actually 1.4 times more intensive inside MPAs in northern Europe. And this, to my mind, is a complete contradiction.

So I call on MEPs tomorrow to use their vote to support concrete measures for all marine protected areas. As I said, protected must mean protected.

 
  
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  Clare Daly (The Left). – Mr President, I would like to thank the rapporteur very much for her work. I think in an Irish context, there’s no doubt about it, fishermen have been sold out; from the beginning of the European Union, sold out to the bigger interests of the bigger countries, and sacrificed and unsupported by successive governments. So it’s understandable then, when an important proposal – the end of bottom trawling in marine protected areas – comes on the table that they feel threatened by that. And I understand that.

But as my colleague has just said, a marine protected area must be a protected area. And the truth is that bottom trawling threatens our ecosystems, disturbs habitats, releases carbons and is a practice that we cannot have continuing. In an Irish context, our oceans are 2% marine protected areas. I understand the fishermen believe that these will get bigger and this will impact on their livelihoods. But the – I suppose – future of humanity is also at stake and the obligation is on the EU and our government to support our fishermen, which they have never done before now.

 
  
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  Clara Aguilera (S&D). – Señor presidente, la economía azul representa un amplio segmento de nuestra economía, afecta a industrias y sectores. Creo que esta opinión que ha hecho mi compañera Isabel Carvalhais es muy oportuna —y la quiero felicitar por ello—, porque viene a completar la parte de la Comunicación de la Comisión donde se hablaba poco de la pesca y la acuicultura. Creo que es importante, y en la última década hemos visto que se han dado pasos significativos para modernizar y diversificar estos sectores, incluidos los más tradicionales.

Pero, sin duda, es importante entender que, dentro de este amplio segmento de economía azul, algunos sectores pueden en ocasiones ocasionar conflictos con otros, y hay que corregirlo. Por tanto, creo que se dan muchas oportunidades en este informe de iniciativa para analizar una economía azul más sostenible.

Lamento que en las redes sociales los medios de comunicación solo hayan hablado de la pesca de arrastre. Este informe es mucho más amplio, mucho más completo, y no quiero que lo enturbie una lucha contra la pesca de arrastre. Creo que es un gran error.

 
  
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  Billy Kelleher (Renew). – Mr President, the Commission will report in December of this year to the Council and the Parliament with regard to the review of the Common Fisheries Policy. And certainly we need to take into account many voices in this particular debate. But the one thing for sure is, there are competing interests out there in our oceans across the globe.

When you look at the context of huge industrial ships, factory ships scooping up entire areas of the sea, coupled with now the concerns of local coastal communities around the issue of offshore wind – the fact that that could be impacting on the ability to fish in shallow waters in the offshores.

So the Common Fisheries Policy, I believe, has an obligation not just to look at the dividing up of the quota allocations between Member States – and Ireland must have its voice heard in that – but equally, we have to assess the impact that the factory ships are having on fishing communities across the European Union, and also to ensure that Irish fishers and those in shallow waters have access to their fishing grounds, even in the event of offshore wind becoming very prevalent in those areas.

 
  
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  Caroline Roose (Verts/ALE). – Monsieur le Président, merci à Mme Carvalhais pour cet excellent rapport. Pourtant, certains députés veulent revenir sur un point clé: l’interdiction du chalutage de fond dans toutes les aires marines protégées.

Aujourd’hui, la grande majorité des aires marines protégées sont en réalité très peu, voire pas du tout protégées et subissent le chalutage de fond et d’autres techniques de pêche destructrices. Le chalutage de fond, qui consiste à racler le fond des océans est, selon les scientifiques, l’une des techniques de pêche ayant le plus fort impact sur les fonds marins.

Demandons l’interdiction du chalutage de fond dans les aires marines protégées européennes pour la biodiversité, pour le climat et le futur des pêcheurs. C’est une demande cohérente et un signal politique fort avant la publication du plan d’action pour la protection des écosystèmes marins par la Commission européenne. Mais cette demande dérange certains lobbies. Les tentatives pour la supprimer ou la diluer ne sont pas à la hauteur des enjeux.

Écoutons les citoyens, les citoyennes, les jeunes, les scientifiques et l’UICN. Je demande donc à mes collègues de voter demain pour les océans en interdisant le chalutage de fond dans toutes les aires marines protégées.

 
  
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  Mick Wallace (The Left). – Mr President, I’d like to thank the rapporteur for her report. She talks about the impact of the loss of marine biodiversity, protected marine areas and the need for balanced development, the role of international governance and she talks about coastal communities.

We’re in a strange place in Ireland because, as my colleague has already pointed out, fishermen in Ireland have been shafted for years. We sold out our fishing rights in return for subsidies for dairy and beef a long time ago. And the fishermen have never got a fair deal ever since.

When we’re introducing rules and regulations for fishermen across Europe, we need to take on board the unique position of Irish fishing, which has not been given a fair deal. And, going forward, whatever way we’re going to tackle this, the fishermen have to be part of the solution and you can’t just regard them as part of the problem.

 
  
 

(End of catch—the—eye procedure)

 
  
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  Janusz Wojciechowski, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, honourable Members. I would like to thank the rapporteur Ms Carvalhais for this report, which is an important follow—up to the Commission communication on the Sustainable Blue Economy of 17 May 2021.

First, let me highlight that we have shifted over the years from blue growth to a sustainable blue economy, a concept which has the sustainable use of our marine resources at its centre. The Commission promotes an integrated and cross-sector approach to the sustainable blue economy without setting, for instance, specific objectives for fisheries and aquaculture. Nevertheless, I fully concur with you that the fisheries and aquaculture sectors are key sectors in the blue economy and provide for an important source of protein that is essential for food security and human health.

Let me now touch upon some key elements of your report and of tonight’s debate.

I fully agree with you that the new projects and instruments are needed for all blue economy stakeholders. The Commission believes that new technologies, innovation and digitalisation will boost the green transition of the blue economy, also for those sectors considered established, such as fisheries and aquaculture. However, in order to fully use this potential, significant investments in innovation are needed in our coastal regions, including the outermost regions. To that end, the European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund, with a total budget of EUR 6.1 billion, will contribute to the horizontal priorities of resilience, green and digital transition by supporting innovative projects.

In addition, I want to mention other key funding sources put in place to support the sustainable blue economy. The BlueInvest scheme together with its scale-up the BlueInvest pilot fund, the new InvestBlue economy instrument as well as the new dedicated financial instrument established together with the European Investment Fund.

I agree with you that sustainable aquaculture should play an important role in terms of food security, employment and sustainable food systems in the EU. In this regard, I want to point to the Commission’s strategic guidelines on aquaculture of 2021, which provide concrete recommendations and actions.

I also fully concur with you on the need to support the development of algae production as a largely untapped, sustainable alternative raw material for many industries, including food and feed. Therefore, the Commission will come forward with the EU algae initiative in line with the Farm to Fork Strategy before the end of the year.

As stated in the report, ports have a key role to play in the development of a sustainable blue economy. They need to become real hubs of blue economy activities, including renewable energy, fisheries, aquaculture, biotechnology and tourism. Support to the development of the necessary infrastructure and digitalisation is very important in this respect.

Your report also contains important findings on the international dimension of the sustainable blue economy. I fully agree that the regional fisheries management organisations are crucial to promote science-based conservation and the sustainable management of fish stocks. Therefore, the Commission will continue efforts to upgrade the existing regional fisheries body in West Africa in line with the Commission’s ocean governance communication.

I also want to underline that the sustainable fisheries partnership agreements the EU concludes with third countries aim towards resource conservation and environmental sustainability. The financial compensation targets also the sustainable economic and social development in those third countries.

Last but not least, I want to address the call for a ban on the use of bottom trawling in all marine protected areas. As you know, the Commission in its biodiversity strategy has committed to look at how to reconcile the use of bottom contacting fishing gear with biodiversity goals, given it is now the most damaging activity in the seabed and how this can be done in a fair and just way for all. We are currently looking into this question in the context of preparations for upcoming action plan to conserve fisheries resources and protect marine ecosystems, which we endeavour to present before the summer. The action plan will be based on the scientific evidence and through analysis of the social, economic and environmental impacts, based on the available data, as well as on the results of our extensive consultation with stakeholders over the last year.

The Commission is determined to ensure a balance between the urgent protection of the marine environment on the one side and the immediate social and economic challenges on the other side, as required by our fisheries and environmental legislation.

 
  
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