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Thursday, 6 October 2022 - Strasbourg
Momentum for the Ocean: strengthening Ocean Governance and Biodiversity

European Parliament resolution of 6 October 2022 on momentum for the ocean: strengthening ocean governance and biodiversity (2022/2836(RSP))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 11 December 2019 on the European Green Deal (COM(2019)0640),

–  having regard to its resolution of 15 January 2020 on the European Green Deal(1),

–  having regard to the joint communication from the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of 10 November 2016 entitled ‘International ocean governance: an agenda for the future of our oceans’ (JOIN(2016)0049),

–  having regard to its resolution of 16 January 2018 entitled ‘International ocean governance: an agenda for the future of our oceans in the context of the 2030 SDGs’(2),

–  having regard to the joint communication from the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of 24 June 2022 on the EU’s international ocean governance agenda – ‘Setting the course for a sustainable blue planet’ (JOIN(2022)0028),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 20 May 2020 entitled ‘EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 – Bringing nature back into our lives’ (COM(2020)0380), including its objective of establishing a coherent network of 30 % of marine protected areas in the EU by 2030, and to Parliament’s resolution of 9 June 2021 thereon(3),

–  having regard to Directive 2008/56/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 establishing a framework for community action in the field of marine environmental policy (Marine Strategy Framework Directive)(4),

–  having regard to Directive 2014/89/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 establishing a framework for maritime spatial planning(5) (Maritime Spatial Planning Directive),

–  having regard to its resolution of 25 March 2021 on the impact on fisheries of marine litter(6),

–  having regard to its resolution of 3 May 2022 entitled ‘Toward a sustainable blue economy in the EU: the role of the fisheries and aquaculture sectors’(7),

–  having regard to its resolutions of 6 July 2016 on Japan’s decision to resume whaling in the 2015-2016 season(8) and of 12 September 2017 on whale hunting in Norway(9),

–  having regard to the Commission’s project under the Horizon Europe programme entitled ‘Mission Starfish 2030: Restore our Ocean and Waters’,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 10 October 2007 entitled ‘An Integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union’ (COM(2007)0575),

–  having regard to the Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Members of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States following the Post-Cotonou negotiations,

–  having regard to the ratification and entry into force of the Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea Convention, adopted in 2010, amending a previous instrument adopted in 1996,

–  having regard to the UN General Assembly resolution entitled ‘Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, adopted at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in New York on 25 September 2015, and in particular to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which encourages the conservation and sustainable exploitation of the oceans, seas and marine resources,

–  having regard to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 2015 Paris Agreement, which entered into force on 4 November 2016,

–  having regard to the UNFCCC Glasgow Climate Pact, adopted on 13 November 2021,

–  having regard to the Convention on Biological Diversity, which entered into force on 29 December 1993,

–  having regard to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which was signed in Montego Bay, Jamaica, on 10 December 1982 and entered into force on 16 November 1994,

–  having regard to the mandate of the International Seabed Authority established under UNCLOS and to the 1994 Agreement relating to the implementation of Part XI of UNCLOS,

–  having regard to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special report of 24 September 2019 on the ocean and cryosphere in a changing climate,

–  having regard to the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021‑2030), as proclaimed by the UN,

–  having regard to the global assessment report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services of May 2019 on biodiversity and ecosystem services,

–  having regard to the One Ocean Summit held in Brest, France, from 9 to 11 February 2022,

–  having regard to the resolution adopted by the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi on 2 March 2022 entitled ‘End plastic pollution: towards an international legally binding instrument’,

–  having regard to the UN General Assembly resolution of 24 December 2017 on an international legally binding instrument under UNCLOS on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ),

–  having regard to the High-Level UN Conference to Support the Implementation of SDG 14 (UN Ocean Conference), held in Lisbon from 27 June to 1 July 2022, and to the subsequent adoption of the Lisbon Declaration,

–  having regard to the seventh high-level ‘Our Ocean’ Conference, co-hosted by the Republic of Palau and the United States on 13 and 14 April 2022,

–  having regard to the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) to be held in Montreal between 5 and 17 December 2022,

–  having regard to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on ending harmful fisheries subsidies adopted at the 12th Ministerial Conference of the WTO on 17 June 2022,

–  having regard to the Bizerte Declaration adopted at the World Sea Forum in September 2022,

–  having regard to the European Court of Auditors special report No 20/2022 of 26 September 2022 entitled ‘EU action to combat illegal fishing – Control systems in place but weakened by uneven checks and sanctions by Member States’,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 19 November 2020 entitled ‘An EU Strategy to harness the potential of offshore renewable energy for a climate neutral future’ (COM(2020)0741),

–  having regard to its resolution of 16 February 2022 on a European strategy for offshore renewable energy(10),

–  having regard to the Court of Auditors special report No 26/2020 of 26 November 2020 entitled ‘Marine environment: EU protection is wide but not deep’,

–  having regard to its resolution of 8 July 2021 on the establishment of Antarctic Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and the conservation of Southern Ocean biodiversity(11),

–  having regard to its resolution of 7 July 2021 on the impact of the fishing sector of offshore windfarms and other renewable energy systems(12),

–  having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the European Parliament has declared a climate and environmental emergency and has committed to urgently taking the concrete action needed to fight and contain this threat before it is too late; whereas biodiversity loss and climate change are interlinked and exacerbate each other, representing equal threats to life on our planet, and as such, should be urgently tackled together;

B.  whereas nature is deteriorating at a rate and scale unprecedented in human history; whereas one million species are estimated to be at risk of extinction worldwide; whereas only 23 % of species and 16 % of habitats under the EU nature directives have a favourable status;

C.  whereas the ocean covers 71 % of the earth’s surface, produces half of our oxygen, absorbs a third of CO2 emissions and 90 % of the excess heat in the climate system(13), and plays a unique and vital role as a climate regulator in the context of the climate crisis;

D.  whereas the world is going through a climate and environment crisis, which requires global responses that identify common challenges, synergies and areas of cooperation;

E.  whereas the deep sea is believed to have the highest biodiversity on earth, containing some 250 000 known species and many more yet to be discovered, with at least two thirds of the world’s marine species still unidentified(14);

F.  whereas the EU and its Member States represent the world’s largest maritime area, taking into account the maritime areas of the overseas countries and territories;

G.  whereas the ocean also contributes to food security and health by providing a primary source of protein for more than 3 billion people, providing renewable energy and mineral resources, as well as creating jobs in coastal communities and acting as a vector of transport for our goods and facilitating our internet communications;

H.  whereas the ocean is currently under intense pressure from human activities, including overfishing and detrimental fishing techniques such as bottom-contacting fishing operations, pollution, industrial extractive activities and the climate crisis, leading to irreversible damage such as ocean warming, rising sea levels, acidification, deoxygenation, coastal erosion, marine pollution, the overexploitation of marine biodiversity, habitat loss and degradation and biomass reduction, which also have consequences on the health and safety of human and animal populations as well as on other organisms;

I.  whereas according to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, marine biodiversity is seriously endangered; whereas the European Environment Agency has issued warnings about the current state of degradation of the European marine environment and the need to rapidly restore our marine ecosystems by addressing the impact of human activities on the marine environment; whereas marine hotspots such as coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass beds are severely degraded and threatened by climate change and pollution;

J.  whereas failing to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement would have enormous environmental impacts and economic costs, including increasing the likelihood of reaching the tipping points at which temperature levels would begin to limit nature’s ability to absorb carbon in the ocean;

K.  whereas whales enhance the productivity of ecosystems and play a significant role in capturing carbon from the atmosphere; whereas each great whale sequesters an average of 33 tonnes of CO2 during its lifetime; whereas according to calculations by the International Monetary Fund, if whales were allowed to return to their pre-whaling numbers, a significant increase in climate-positive phytoplankton would be generated, resulting in the additional capture of hundreds of millions of tonnes of CO2 per year equivalent to the sudden appearance of 2 billion trees(15); whereas the protection of whales should be a priority of international ocean governance;

L.  whereas the ocean should be recognised at an international level as a global common and should be protected in the light of its uniqueness and interconnectedness and the essential ecosystem services that it provides, on which current and future generations depend for their survival and well-being;

M.  whereas thanks to their geographical characteristics and specificities, the EU’s outermost regions and islands help the EU to benefit from the geostrategic, ecological, economic and cultural dimension of the ocean and give it responsibilities; whereas the outermost regions and islands are among the most affected by climate change in particular and in terms of sustainable development, in comparison to the rest of the EU and the rest of the developed world;

N.  whereas the European Environment Agency has defined ocean governance as ‘managing and using the world’s oceans and their resources in ways that keep them healthy, productive, safe, secure and resilient’(16);

O.  whereas the EU’s blue economy provides 4,5 million direct jobs and encompasses all industries and sectors related to the ocean, seas and coasts, such as shipping, seagoing passenger transport, fisheries and energy generation, as well as ports, shipyards, coastal tourism and land-based aquaculture; whereas ocean-related economic issues are an important element of the European Green Deal package and recovery plan, and whereas the development of a sustainable blue economy, in respect of marine ecosystems, could greatly boost economic development as well as job creation, especially in coastal and island countries and regions and in the outermost regions(17);

P.  whereas at the One Ocean Summit held in Brest in February 2022, a global coalition for blue carbon was launched by France and Colombia and the high ambition coalition on BBNJ was also launched;

1.  Calls for the EU to stand as a leader in protecting the ocean, restoring marine ecosystems, and raising awareness about the essential role that the ocean plays in maintaining a liveable planet for humans and animals and the numerous benefits it brings to our societies; considers it important, in this context, to improve our relationship with the ocean; encourages the Commission to promote better integration of ocean conservation issues in other policy areas, including at upcoming climate and biodiversity conferences, notably COP15 and COP27;

2.  Expresses disappointment at the fact that the Treaty of the High Seas was ultimately not adopted at the Fifth Intergovernmental Conference, while acknowledging that progress has been made; considers it imperative to ensure the protection of biodiversity beyond national jurisdictions in order to protect, conserve and restore marine life and use our shared ocean resources fairly and sustainably; calls on the Commission and the Member States, as a matter of urgency, to resume negotiations on the Treaty of the High Seas without delay in order to adopt an ambitious approach to the negotiations on a BBNJ treaty that guarantees an international framework that is ambitious, effective and future-proof, which is essential to achieving the target of conserving at least 30 % of the ocean and seas globally;

3.  Stresses that the conference of the parties to the treaty should have full competences to adopt effective management plans and measures for the MPAs, and is firmly of the opinion that any kind of opt-out mechanisms would undermine marine protection efforts; further underlines that the treaty should also include a fair and equitable mechanism for accessing and sharing in the benefits of marine genetic resources, and provide adequate funding to support the core functions of the treaty, as well as financial, scientific and technical support for states that require it, through capacity-building and transfers of marine technology; calls on the Commission and the Member States to advocate for the inclusion of the notion of the ocean as a global common in the preamble of future declarations and international treaties, especially BBNJ;

4.  Underlines that the upcoming climate (COP27) and biodiversity (COP15) conferences will be crucial to ensure the centrality of oceans in the fight against climate change and the full achievement of the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity; recognises that the good health of our oceans and seas is crucial for maintaining their role in mitigating climate change and for staying within the temperature goal of the Paris Agreement; reiterates its call for the EU to push for an ambitious post-2020 global biodiversity framework at COP15 with targets to halt and reverse biodiversity loss, including through legally binding global restoration and protection targets of at least 30 % by 2030;

Improving EU and international ocean governance

5.  Considers that combating the degradation of the ocean requires a considerable joint effort; calls for global, systemic, integrated and ambitious governance;

6.  Reiterates its call on the Commission and the Member States to support an international moratorium on deep seabed mining(18);

7.  Highlights the importance of taking stock of the links between the land and the sea in European policies, including nitrogen and phosphorous leakage resulting from intensive agriculture as well as plastic pollution; underlines, moreover, the importance of ensuring that the One Health Approach is mainstreamed, recognising the links between human, animal and environmental health;

8.  Reiterates its concern that sectoral support provided by sustainable fisheries partnership agreements often does not directly benefit local fisheries and coastal communities in third countries; reiterates its call on the Commission to ensure that such agreements are in line with the SDGs, the EU’s environmental obligations and the objectives of the EU common fisheries policy; urges the EU to increase the transparency, data collection (particularly on catches, vessel registrations and labour conditions) and reporting requirements in sustainable fisheries partnership agreements and to establish a centralised socio-economic database for all EU vessels, regardless of where they operate;

9.  Stresses the need to integrate at-sea labour and human rights considerations within the framework of global ocean governance; calls on the Commission to undertake targeted efforts to promote standards of decent work in the global fisheries industry, in recognition of the connection between labour and human rights abuses and unsustainable and destructive fishing practices, in particular illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing;

10.  Calls on the Council and its rotating presidencies to develop and implement a long-term strategic vision for maritime issues in order to make the EU a global leader in the sustainable development of our ocean, and particularly in protecting the ocean and its ecosystems in order to address the current environmental and climate crises;

11.  Reiterates the principle of policy coherence for development, to which the EU and its Member States have committed and which aims to minimise contradictions and build synergies between different EU policies; highlights, in this regard, the key role of EU development policies, which should help partner countries attain the aforementioned common goals for the ocean and humanity;

12.  Stresses the importance of protecting whale populations, from both a biodiversity and climate perspective; strongly supports the continuation of the global moratorium on commercial whaling as well as the ban on international trade of whale products; calls on Japan, Norway and Iceland to cease their whaling operations; calls for the EU to tackle life-threatening hazards that whales and other cetaceans are facing, including ship strikes, entanglement in fishing nets, waterborne plastic waste and noise pollution;

Ensuring preservation in the face of climate and environmental crises

13.  Reiterates its position from the biodiversity strategy of its strong support for the EU targets of protecting at least 30 % of the EU’s marine areas and of strictly protecting at least 10 % of the EU’s marine areas; expects the new EU Nature Restoration Law to ensure the restoration of degraded marine ecosystems, considering that healthy marine ecosystems can protect and restore biodiversity and mitigate climate change, providing multiple ecosystem services; reiterates its call for a restoration target of at least 30 % of the EU’s land and seas, which goes beyond simple protection;

14.  Reiterates its full support for the establishment of two new MPAs covering over 3 million km² in the Eastern Antarctic and the Weddell Sea(19); calls on the Commission and the Member States to significantly ramp up their efforts to achieve this;

15.  Supports the EU’s application for observer status on the Arctic Council; calls for enhanced protection for the Arctic region, including a prohibition on oil exploration and, as soon as possible, on gas exploration;

16.  Reiterates its support for the prohibition of all environmentally damaging extractive industrial activities such as mining and fossil fuel extraction in MPAs; reiterates its call for the EU to launch and fund scientific research programmes to map carbon-rich marine habitats in EU waters to serve as a basis for designating such areas as strictly protected MPAs in order to protect and restore marine carbon sinks in line with the UNFCCC, and to protect and restore ecosystems, in particular those on the seabed, in line with the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, protecting them from human activities that could disturb and release carbon into the water column, such as bottom‑contacting fishing operations;

17.  Reiterates that fishing and aquaculture worldwide must be environmentally sustainable and managed in a way that is consistent with the objectives of achieving economic, social and employment benefits, and of contributing to the availability of food supplies; stresses that the collection of scientific and socio-economic data is fundamental to the sustainable management of fisheries; regrets that the recent Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2022/1614 of 15 September 2022 was adopted with insufficient data and stakeholder consultation; urges the Commission to revise its decision in light of upcoming advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea to be published in November 2022 and once a socio-economic impact assessment is available;

18.  Stresses the crucial need to streamline the integration of the coastal blue carbon ecosystems (mangroves, tidal salt marshes and seagrasses) in the European Green Deal and encourages the Commission to work further on the identification of robust, transparent and science-based methodologies for the proper accounting of carbon removals and emissions from those ecosystems in a manner that does no harm to other biodiversity objectives;

19.  Highlights that the outermost regions and islands are essential for tackling challenges related to the ocean and calls for the EU to enhance their role in finding solutions for adaptation to climate change, the protection of marine biodiversity and the transition towards a sustainable blue economy, including by promoting ecosystem-based solutions; calls for the EU to better associate the outermost regions in ocean strategies, including within the integrated maritime policy;

20.  Recalls the importance and urgency of reducing and avoiding marine litter, as plastic waste accounts for 80 % of all marine pollution, and plastics in the ocean are estimated to constitute around 75-199 million tonnes and may triple by 2040 without meaningful action, according to the UN Environment Programme(20); welcomes the ongoing work on negotiations towards a global treaty on plastic pollution and calls on the UN member states to reach an ambitious and effective agreement by no later than 2024; underlines the necessity to address plastic pollution by reducing waste at its source, cutting down on plastic use and consumption as a priority, and increasing circularity; further expresses its support for clean-up actions; points to the plastics economy and its exponential increase in production over recent decades; calls for a systemic approach in order to appropriately address plastic pollution in the environment, including microplastics; calls for international measures to end nuclear and military waste in the oceans and for practical solutions to limit their existing environmental and health impacts;

21.  Welcomes the recently adopted WTO Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies, which all parties should swiftly ratify, but regrets that an agreement was not reached to limit subsidies that increase overfishing and fleet overcapacity; calls on the Commission to further reach an agreement at the WTO without delay; underlines that fishing must be conducted in a sustainable way, ensuring that the negative impacts of fishing activities on the marine ecosystem are minimised and avoiding the degradation of the environment, which is one of the objectives of the common fisheries policy; calls on the Commission and the Member States to take action against overcapacity and overfishing, including prohibiting subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing;

22.  Recalls that IUU fishing activities and overfishing represent a considerable threat to sustainable fishing and the resilience of marine ecosystems; welcomes the Commission’s commitment to follow a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to IUU fishing, but notes with concern the conclusion of the Court of Auditors special report No 20/2022 that the effectiveness of control systems in place to combat illegal fishing is reduced by the uneven application of checks and sanctions by Member States; calls on the Member States to improve the implementation of the EU IUU Regulation(21) and to follow up on the Court of Auditors’ recommendations and ensure dissuasive sanctions against illegal fishing;

23.  Is concerned, furthermore, about cases of IUU fishing outside EU waters; calls for a strong global system of deterrent sanctions and a multi-pronged approach to fighting IUU fishing; stresses the need to limit the use of flags of convenience and reflagging and to address trans-shipment at sea; calls on the Commission to effectively promote transparency on the beneficial ownership of corporate structures and calls for the EU, more broadly, to strengthen anti-corruption capacity-building by fostering cooperation between national agencies, increasing international cooperation, improving oversight of fishery agents in developing countries with support from the EU, and supporting regional monitoring, control and surveillance centres and task forces;

Promoting a sustainable blue economy

24.  Recognises that the good health of our oceans is essential for the long-term sustainability of many activities, from fisheries to tourism and research to shipping; welcomes the potential of a fully sustainable blue economy for sustainable development and job creation and stresses that it is essential to support these sectors to become more sustainable and in adapting to the new standards of the European Green Deal;

25.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to fully implement the Maritime Spatial Planning Directive, taking into account all maritime economic activities, including fisheries, offshore energy installations, maritime transport routes, traffic separation schemes, port development, tourism and aquaculture through an integrated and ecosystem-based approach ensuring the protection of marine ecosystems; reiterates that further efforts are needed for the coherent implementation of the directive, which calls on Member States to apply ‘an ecosystem-based approach’ in their planning, in order to set an example for the global introduction of maritime spatial planning;

26.  Recalls that in addition to CO2 and NO2, the decarbonisation of maritime transport should include methane emissions, given that methane is over 80 times more potent than CO2 over a 20-year period, making it the second most important greenhouse gas contributing to about a quarter of the global warming experienced today;

27.  Points out that black carbon is both an air pollutant and short-lived climate forcer that forms along with particulate matter during combustion, with a significant warming effect, and the second-largest contributor to climate warming caused by ships; highlights the importance of protecting the Arctic, in particular, from shipping emissions and particulate matter, and recalls that in a joint communication of 13 October 2021, the EU undertook to ‘lead the drive for Zero Emission and Zero Pollution shipping in the Arctic Ocean, in line with our Green Deal objectives and the Fit for 55 package’(22); calls for the EU to push internationally and work towards the adoption of concrete measures to achieve zero emission and zero pollution shipping in the Arctic;

28.  Expresses concern at the underwater noise caused by maritime transport, piling and other marine activities, as well as about cetacean collisions with ships, which have a negative impact on marine ecosystems and the welfare of marine species; calls on the Commission to identify and propose measures to address these problems;

29.  Stresses that the ocean is vulnerable to offshore drilling of fossil fuels; emphasises that the use of fossil fuels will further contribute to and accelerate climate change; is of the view that the EU must cooperate with international partners in order to achieve a just transition away from offshore drilling of fossil fuels;

30.  Reiterates its positions on the Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) Regulation(23) and the Emission Trading System Directive(24) for the establishment of an Ocean Fund to improve the energy efficiency of ships and support investment aimed at helping to decarbonise maritime transport, such as wind propulsion, including in short sea shipping and ports;

31.  Stresses the need for the rapid deployment of sustainable offshore renewable energy projects, while taking into account their impact on ecosystems including migratory species and the environmental, social and economic consequences; stresses that Europe would benefit from building a strong home market for offshore renewable energy in order to further expand its technological leadership in this area and thus create new global export opportunities for European industry;

32.  Stresses that the EU should lead by example by adopting ambitious legal requirements for decarbonising maritime transport and making it more sustainable, while supporting and pushing for measures that are at least comparable in ambition in international forums such as the International Maritime Organization, enabling the maritime transport sector to phase out its greenhouse gas emissions globally and in line with the Paris Agreement; stresses that, in the event that the International Maritime Organization should adopt such measures, the Commission should examine their ambition and overall environmental integrity, including their general ambition in relation to targets under the Paris Agreement, the EU’s economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions reduction target for 2030 and the achievement of climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest; considers that, if deemed necessary, the Commission should make subsequent proposals to Parliament and the Council that preserve the environmental integrity and effectiveness of the EU’s climate action and recognise the EU’s sovereignty to regulate its share of emissions from international shipping voyages in line with the obligations of the Paris Agreement;

33.  Welcomes the role of regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs); urges the Commission, within the scope of negotiations for a convention on RFMOs, to ensure that the approved management and conservation measures are in line with the ambitions of, or more ambitious than, those established in the common fisheries policy, granting harmonised rules to EU fleet irrespective of the geographical area in which they operate and providing a level playing field for all fleets operating under these international conventions; calls on the Commission to encourage the creation of new RFMOs and to come forward with ambitious mandates to improve the protection of fish populations and the sustainable management of fisheries resources, to reduce discards and to improve the available data, compliance and transparency of decision-making; encourages a wider use of total allowable catches and quota mechanisms, in particular in the negotiations for a convention on RFMOs and in sustainable fisheries partnership agreements, in order to ensure effective global preservation of fisheries resources;

34.  Stresses the need to fully take into account the social needs linked to the transition of a sustainable blue economy; calls on the Commission and the Member States to support reskilling and upskilling of the existing workforce as well as attracting new people into the workforce with the requisite skillsets for sustainable economic practices;

35.  Calls on the Commission to carry out and build on existing socio-economic analyses on the challenges faced by fishing communities in the EU, with a view to identifying appropriate support measures and diversification to guarantee a fair and equitable transition;

Raising awareness, promoting research and knowledge

36.  Stresses the need to support research and innovation on ocean climate adaptation and marine renewable energies to make the EU a champion of green ships, fishing vessels, and ports; stresses that funding should be provided for deep-sea ecosystems and biodiversity; calls for strong action to tackle ship-source pollution and illegal waste discharge; calls for the EU to play a leading role in the establishment of green corridors and connections between green ports worldwide to strengthen and scale up the green transition in the maritime sector; calls for strong action to tackle ship-source pollution and illegal waste discharge;

37.  Considers that the development and production of sustainable marine fuels should be exponentially increased in the coming years, and that the EU and its Member States should invest in the research and production of sustainable maritime fuels, as they present both an environmental and an industrial opportunity; calls on the Commission to examine the possibility of creating an EU research centre for sustainable marine fuels and technologies that would help to coordinate the efforts of stakeholders involved in the development of sustainable marine fuels;

38.  Expresses its support for the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and the Commission’s ‘Mission Starfish 2030: Restore our Ocean and Waters’, which aims to accelerate knowledge and data collection and the regeneration of the ocean and to promote the cyclical vision of regenerating the ocean, seas and rivers through concrete and regional pilot projects;

39.  Recognises the need to involve scientific communities to coordinate efforts for a sustainable ocean future that facilitates new ways of producing and sharing knowledge; calls for the EU, therefore, to advocate for the creation of an International Panel for Ocean Sustainability based on the model of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in order to lay the foundations for future ocean governance and management;

40.  Supports the efforts of the intergovernmental High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People under the leadership of Costa Rica, France and the United Kingdom; welcomes the Commission’s membership of this coalition; recalls the EU’s commitment to achieving the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and marine resources, as identified in SDG 14 of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;

o   o

41.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

(1) OJ C 270, 7.7.2021, p. 2.
(2) OJ C 458, 19.12.2018, p. 9.
(3) OJ C 67, 8.2.2022, p. 25.
(4) OJ L 164, 25.6.2008, p. 19.
(5) OJ L 257, 28.8.2014, p. 135.
(6) OJ C 494, 8.12.2021, p. 14.
(7) Texts adopted, P9_TA(2022)0135.
(8) OJ C 101, 16.3.2018, p. 123.
(9) OJ C 337, 20.9.2018, p. 30.
(10) OJ C 342, 6.9.2022, p. 66.
(11) OJ C 99, 1.3.2022, p. 214.
(12) OJ C 99, 1.3.2022, p. 88.
(13) UN Climate Action, ‘The ocean – the world’s greatest ally against climate change’.
(14) ‘Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystems Underpin a Healthy Planet and Social Well-Being’, UN Chronicle, Nos 1 & 2, Volume LIV – Our Ocean, Our World, May 2017.
(15) International Monetary Fund, ‘A strategy to protect whales can limit greenhouse gases and global warming’, December 2019.
(16) European Environment Agency, ‘Ocean governance’, 5 May 2022.
(17) As affirmed in Parliament’s resolution of 3 May 2022 entitled ‘Toward a sustainable blue economy in the EU: the role of the fisheries and aquaculture sectors’.
(18) See the Commission’s EU Blue Economy Report 2022, 3 May 2022.
(19) As expressed in Parliament’s resolution of 8 July 2021 on the establishment of MPAs and the conservation of Southern Ocean biodiversity.
(20) See the UN Environment Programme’s Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA), ‘Marine Litter and Plastic Pollution’, and the UN Environment Programme synthesis, From pollution to solution: a global assessment of marine litter and plastic pollution, 2021.
(21) OJ L 286, 29.10.2008, p. 1.
(22) Joint communication from the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign affairs and Security Policy of 13 October 2021 entitled ‘A stronger EU engagement for a peaceful, sustainable and prosperous Arctic’, p. 9 (JOIN(2021)0027).
(23) Position of 16 September 2020 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) 2015/757 in order to take appropriate account of the global data collection system for ship fuel oil consumption data (OJ C 385, 22.9.2021, p. 217).
(24) OJ L 76, 19.3.2018, p. 3.

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