On the 6th of November 2020 the Spanish National Hub of the WestMED Initiative took part on the 3rd Symposium of Blue Economy organized by the Inter-university Department on Blue Economy along with the University of Alicante, the University of Miguel Hernández and the Consellería d´Economía Sostenible, Sectors Productius, Comerç I Treball of the Generalitat Valenciana.
The event focus was on the recreational maritime sector and the challenges that this emerging sector is facing in times of change.
The WestMED Assistance Mechanism Spanish National Hub, Dr. Marta Pascual, participated in the event with two presentation. The first one under the title “La Iniciativa WestMED: Iniciativa regional para un desarrollo sostenible en el Mediterráneo Occidental” and a second one under the title “Elegibilidad, desarrollo y tramitación de proyectos marítimo-recreativos europeos en el Mediterráneo occidental”.
Mrs. Pascual highlighted the following message:
“The sustainable development of the Blue Economy in the Western Mediterranean requires a more solid cooperation between those agents of the maritime sectors. In this sense, it is essential that the recreational boating sector collaborates in advancing ideas for innovative and sustainable projects with other Mediterranean countries.”
There are currently several European funding opportunities for projects in recreational boating that deal with :
- Digitization (with boats and marinas connected)
- Environmental sustainability (connection of nautical tourism, boats and marinas with a clean environment)
- Adaptation to CC, sea level rise and increased frequency of extreme events (dry marinas, dry docks)
- New materials, problems at the end of their useful life (dismantling, recycling …)
- New types of engines (electric, hybrid and hydrogen)
- Re-fitting and repair
- Superyachts (manufacturing, R&D, design …)
- Harmonization at the EU level of the recognition of skipper qualifications, as well as the rules for VAT on boats and moorings
- Lack of manpower and skills
- Seasonality of jobs (initiatives to reduce seasonality can guarantee long-term stability in the sector)
From the WestMED Initiative, and more specifically from its Assistance Mechanism, we want to encourage all those interested in the recreational maritime sector to join this objective of achieving a sustainable blue economy and dare to present and lead international projects! ”
The Event Program can be accessed here