On 19 March, more than 1000 people gathered in Brussels for this year’s largest EU event on oceans. Organised by MEP Gesine Meissner and European Commissioner Karmenu Vella, the event hosted our continent’s most influential advocates for healthy, safe and sustainable oceans. And with a large delegation of students and youth organisations in the room, the conference was more than an interesting recap of today’s status quo. It was a hard-felt plea for even more ambition, from policy makers, companies and civil society, to safeguard the most precious organism of our planet: our ocean.
Commissioner Vella set the tone of the conference: “the ocean is the genesis of life, but now it is on the front-line in the fight for survival. There is only one possible response, and that response is collective.”
That “collective response” is called ocean governance, namely international cooperation on the various aspects that influence our ocean’s health: fisheries policy, protection of habitats and biodiversity, development of the blue economy.
The European Commission has just published its progress report Improving International Ocean Governance, which you can find here.