Covid-19: Comissão Europeia aprova linha de crédito de 20 milhões de euros para apoiar o setor das Pescas e da Aquacultura em Portugal

A Comissão Europeia aprovou um regime português para apoiar o setor das pescas e da aquacultura, através da concessão de empréstimos de até 20 milhões de euros, com taxas de juros bonificadas, para as pequenas e médias empresas (PME) afetadas pelos efeitos da Pandemia Covid-19.

Esta linha de crédito ajudará as empresas a responder às necessidades imediatas de liquidez e a continuar a sua atividade.

Mais informação aqui.

Routine monitoring of Mediterranean boats and marinas could help protect ecosystems from invasive alien species

This article was first published in the Science for Environment Policy biweekly News Alert. It is fully available here.

A survey of over 600 private boats docked in marinas throughout the Mediterranean showed that 71% are carrying non-indigenous species. In certain cases, non-indigenous species can become ‘invasive’ and have enormous and long-lasting impacts on ecosystems. The findings suggest that a common monitoring strategy may be necessary to prevent further disruptions to natural ecosystems.

The Mediterranean Sea is a marine biodiversity hotspot, inhabited by over 17 000 species. The sea’s sunny climate and beautiful coastlines makes it a popular destination for private boats and yachts, which flock to its numerous marinas from April to November each year. But these boats, which originate from all over the world, bring with them non-indigenous species, which, if they become invasive, can disrupt ecosystems, threaten biodiversity and harm aquaculture operations. Alien, or non-indigenous, species can include plants, algae and jellyfish, and animals such as worms, crabs and barnacles, all of which can attach to the underside of boats in a process known as biofouling. Previous studies have shown that invasive species are the largest cause of animal and plant extinctions over the last 500 years, yet despite this there are currently no regulations in the Mediterranean governing the transmission of non-indigenous species (NIS) through boats, although the issue is currently under consideration by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) .

To better understand how NIS are brought into the Mediterranean, scientists examined the hulls of over 600 private boats docked in 25 marinas across the Mediterranean, from France to Cyprus. They also surveyed the owners of the boats to find out how long they had been travelling, where they had previously been and the last time they cleaned and/or painted their vessels. They found that 71% of the boats tested carried at least one NIS, with snorkellers finding nonindigenous annelids, molluscs, tunicates, crustaceans and bryozoans on the hulls, ladders and propellers of the surveyed yachts. One vessel contained as many as 11 NIS. In contrast, studies from the northeast Pacific Ocean show that only 25% of recreational vessels carry NIS. The number of NIS identified by this study is likely to be a conservative estimate, since microbes and algae were not examined.

Boats with the highest number of NIS were smaller vessels (which tend to travel at slower cruising speeds), which had not been professionally cleaned for a long time. Boats that had docked in eastern Mediterranean marinas also contained more NIS, suggesting that this is a high risk area for the spread of NIS, mostly due to its proximity to the Suez Canal, a major vector in introducing new species from the Indo-Pacific seas and the Red Sea. Interestingly, colonisation of NIS occurred rapidly, with mobile species such as crustaceans, appearing just days after boats had been cleaned.

The study provides strong evidence that the richness of NIS present on yachts, coupled with their extensive travel, has caused the spread of NIS to marinas around the Mediterranean. The study found that marinas contained a greater diversity of NIS than boats, probably because they are visited by many yachts from different regions. For example, Karpaz Gate Marina in Cyprus had only been in operation for four years at the time of sampling, and was already hosting 17 NIS, which probably arrived via recreational boats as this marina is far from other sources of introductions (such as ports and aquaculture sites).

Early detection of a non-indigenous species is important to be able to stop it from becoming invasive in local environments. To counteract the spread of NIS, the researchers recommend that in the future both marinas and vessels are routinely monitored for new species. Ideally all 22 countries bordering the basin would follow a common strategy, including screening all incoming vessels from new countries, especially those emanating from high-risk areas. This would echo the approach of other countries. New Zealand requires all incoming vessels to be free of biofouling; Australia also has guidelines for biofouling and in-water cleaning for recreational vessels; and, in the United States, California recently issued a regulation to minimise biofouling.

Boats entering through European canals and the Turkish Straits travel through fresh- and/or much lower salinity water, and NIS on board would have a much lower chance of survival. As such, policymakers may wish to focus initially on entrances via the higher-risk Strait of Gibraltar and Suez Canal, ensuring that effective screening techniques and applicable quarantine measures are in place for incoming vessels.In addition, the researchers recommend that boats undergo frequent cleaning, especially in inaccessible and often overlooked metallic areas such as ladders and propellers, where invasive species are known to accumulate.

WestMED : Towards a Maritime Innovation Technologies Platform

WestMED organized on the 16 April a Hackathon dedicated to Maritime Innovation Technologies Platform.

picture of container with behing a shore and wind farms

A container ship leaving a harbor. Shutterstock/Bohdan Kovtyk


Technological Innovations for an improved management of the sea

Technological innovations have emerged through time in relation to high-techs and digitalization (e.g. smart devices, robotics, informational computing, big data, marine “internet of things- IoT”, machine learning, artificial intelligence, machine-to-machine interaction).

Such innovations could be effectively channeled to ensure smart, interoperable and efficient management of data and information (following the FAIR principles), which may positively impact a number of relevant marine and maritime activities (e.g. maritime spatial planning, maritime observation, surveillance, modelling and monitoring, climate change impacts analysis and scenario building and sectorial decision-making purposes amongst others).

A platform to enhance cooperation on KETS and R&D

In such efforts, the WestMED Initiative organized a series of Hackathon type meetings amongst which Hackathon n4 discussed and assessed the potential for a Mediterranean-wide Maritime Innovation Technologies Platform (Med-MIT) or similar actions and/or projects that could allow for greater cooperation between clusters, research/technological centres, institutions and sectorial actors.

This Maritime Innovation Technologies Platform would aim at fuelling the urgently needed collaborations that could effectively channel Key Enabling Technologies and R&D Topics under one same umbrella towards the achievement of a sustainable Blue Economy in the Mediterranean (WestMED priority) and those related SDGs. The innovation supply chain provided by the platform would serve as an advisory service towards obtaining more risk-informed and data-based decision-making processes.


logo of COST, the European Cooperation in Science and Technology

COST is the European Cooperation in Science and Technology Organisation


First ideas collected and next steps agreed during the digital Hackathon

With this purpose, on 16 April 2020, a group of 30 participants gathered virtually in a first webinar so as to discuss the possibility for creating this Mediterranean-wide Maritime Innovation Technologies Platform as well as to discuss other concrete project ideas and proposals.

The meeting targeted technological and high-tech organisations, clusters, businesses, agencies, data providers, computing facilities and centres, research facilities, investors etc. The final participant list is available below.

In order to move along with the potential creation of this Maritime Innovation Technologies Platform the purpose is to apply to the forthcoming COST Calls (Deadline 29 October 2020). This platform would gather all Maritime Innovation Technologies along the following topics:

  • Digitalization of the Sea: Big Data (Real-time data collection, blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, advanced analytics, interoperability)
  • Advanced manufacturing: Digital manufacturing (digital twin, additive manufacturing, 3D printing…) – lower production costs
  • Advanced manufacturing: Automation (Robotics, sensorics, photonics, AI, …) (light, easy to use devices for environment and structure monitoring, as well as innovative services, e.g. remote access to protected sites, crowd science)
  • Advanced and smart materials (high strength, lightweight, cost effective recyclable and reusable materials, intelligent materials with self-healing or self-cleaning properties, with sensing capabilities, with properties that change with locations – New materials reducing their environmental impacts. New concept designs within a circular economy approach
  • Micro and nano electronics: MEMS, INS, labs on chip for marine chemistry and biology (they pave the way to the development of cheap, light, low power consumption devices)
  • Internet of things-IOT, Internet of actions-IOA, Digital Security
  • Spatial planning platforms and DSS –  to maintain the sustainability of the resources
  • Fisheries Management & resources (Technological improvements of boats, energy savings and energy efficiency, discards management, fishing management, catch selectivity and process automation, fishing gear and bait optimization, traceability improvement)
  • Ocean Energy – wave, tidal, otec
  • Industrial Marine Biotechnology (Bio marine – sea foods, seaweeds for food, fuels and drugs – new sources of food, fuels and drugs)
  • Deep Sea Mining
  • Smart and autonomous shipping
  • Marine Litter

The potential role of each partner was also discussed at the Hackathon.

Next Steps for submission were also discussed, such as the creation of the consortia, a more concrete definition of the working groups (topics, tasks, etc.) and a timeline to be fulfilled towards submission. Next meeting of the consortia is envisaged by end of June 2020.

More information

Belgium WestMED Initiative Coordinator & Central Team & National Hubs
United-Kingdom Greenbackers Investment Capital
Italy Italian National Research Council (CNR) / Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche – Institute of marine engineering
Italy Maritime Technology Cluster FVG
Italy DLTM (Liguria Cluster of Maritime Technologies)
Italy Planetek
Italy University Polytechnic of Turin
Libya General Authority For Marine Wealth
Malta University of Malta
Mauritania STARFISH
Portugal Qualiseg
Portugal EcletikPigment, Lda
Spain Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3)
Spain Catalan R+D+I Maritime Network / Xarxa Marítima de Catalunya
Spain Directorate General for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs-Gov. of Catalonia
Spain Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena / CORI
Spain Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores, Unión Europea y Cooperación
Spain Ministerio de Pesca y Agricultura
Tunisia Tunisian Maritime Cluster


Lancement d’un outil interactif pour cartographier les initiatives concernant la pêche artisanale en Méditerranée et en mer Noire

Source: MedPAN

Un outil interactif en ligne a été mis en place pour cartographier les initiatives et les projets concernant la pêche artisanale dans la région de la Méditerranée et de la mer Noire.

Cet outil de cartographie a été développé par la CGPM, en collaboration avec les organisations partenaires de la plateforme « Friends of SSF » : WWF Mediterranean Marine Initiative, Black Sea Advisory Council (BlSAC), CIHEAM-Bari, Low Impact Fishers of Europe (LIFE) et Mediterranean Advisory Council (MEDAC).

L’outil de cartographie vise à :

  • Donner de la visibilité à des projets passés, en cours et futurs concernant la pêche artisanale dans la région de la Méditerranée et de la mer Noire
  • Créer des synergies entre ces projets and soutenir la mise à l’échelle régionale des résultats
  • Suivre les progrès réalisés conformément au Plan d’Action Régional pour la pêche artisanale en Méditerranée et en mer Noire (PAR-SSF), en veillant à ce que toutes les contributions pertinentes sont prises en compte
  • Identifier les écarts de mise en œuvre et les zones/sujets nécessitant des investissements.

Vous pouvez contribuer à cet outil de cartographie avec les informations relatives à votre projet !

L’outil sera d’autant plus efficace s’il est complété et mis à jour régulièrement! Nous vous encourageons donc à donner de la visibilité à vos projets passés, présents ou futurs concernant la pêche artisanale en remplissant ce formulaire.

Questionnaire: Faire face à l’impact du Covid-19 dans les AMP méditerranéennes

Source: MedPAN newsletter


L’épidémie de Covid-19 provoque une urgence sanitaire mondiale sans précédent et un ralentissement économique mondial. Partout dans le monde, les communautés d’AMP partagent des défis et des approches sur la manière de faire face à l’impact du virus sur la planification et la gestion des AMP. Nous aimerions que vous partagiez vos approches avec le réseau MedPAN afin qu’elles puissent profiter à d’autres et nous avons dans cette optique préparé un bref questionnaire.

Accéder au questionnaire.

ENICBC MED funds 22 new projects to drive cooperation forward across the Mediterranean

This article was first published by ENI CBC Med Programme on 20 April 2020.

The Joint Monitoring Committee, decision-making body of the ENI CBC Med Programme, has approved 22 projects under the call for strategic projects out of the 198 proposals submitted. The projects, worth €78.8 million, have the ambition to produce long-lasting and far-reaching effects, fostering significant change in key thematic fields through synergies with the main EU, national and regional policies in the Mediterranean region.

Start-ups development, reinforcement of Euro-Mediterranean economic clusters, technology transfer, employability of young people and women, waste management and energy efficiency: these are the topic s of the 22 projects approved under the strategic call for proposals. It is worth mentioning that the thematic distribution of the projects is related to the different budget available under each Priority.

With an investment of €69 million in EU funding and a total budget worth €78.8 million, these projects gather 197 actors from the eligible territories of the 13 countries participating in the ENI CBC Med Programme, i.e. Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Portugal, Palestine, Spain and Tunisia. The distribution of lead beneficiaries and partners by country is shown in the graphs below. 

The ambition of strategic projects

Compared to standard projects, strategic projects have increased means – the financial contribution per project ranges from €2.5 to €3.5 million and partnerships are composed of a minimum of 4 different eligible countries, including at least 2 EU Mediterranean Countries and 2 Mediterranean Partner Countries – to achieve ambitious goals.  Notably, strategic projects are expected to produce a far-reaching, long-lasting impact in key sectors of cooperation in the Mediterranean, achieve tangible and replicable results that last beyond the funding of the Programme, and contribute to the development of public policies.

The 22 approved strategic projects add up to the 41 running standard projects: the Programme has now a pool of 63 projects, involving over 450 organizations from both sides of the Mediterranean, worth over €188 million (€169 million EU contribution). The final aim of the Programme is to ensure long-lasting cooperation in the Mediterranean in order to make the region more competitive, innovative, inclusive and sustainable.

Next steps

All applicants involved in the second step of the call for proposals will receive a letter of the Managing Authority containing the results of the evaluation. Selected beneficiaries will soon start the process towards the signing of the grant contract with the Managing Authority, allowing starting the implementation of the planned activities.

L’Agence nationale de la cohésion des territoires (ANCT) lance un bulletin d’information sur l’Initiative OuestMED

L’Agence nationale de la cohésion des territoires (ANCT), assure la coordination des programmes européens en France et contribue à une meilleure articulation de l’Initiative OuestMED pour le développement durable de l’économie bleue en Méditerranée occidentale (adoptée par l’UE en 2017) avec les programmes européens et les acteurs actifs sur cette partie de Bassin Méditerranéen.

L’ANCT met à disposition des acteurs français une information régulière en français (lettre trimestrielle et mémos mensuels), complémentaire à celle diffusée via le site OuestMED, afin de donner une plus grande visibilité à cette Initiative,  une meilleure connaissance et prise en compte de ses priorités, une plus grande appropriation de celles-ci par les parties prenantes et les décideurs.


La première lettre, publiée en avril, est disponible ici.

Les Lettres d’information trimestrielles OuestMED sont publiées ici.

La page d’information consacrée à l’Initiative OuestMED est disponible ici.

100 entities gathered by the UfM to contribute to the future of the Blue Economy in the Mediterranean

Source: UfM newsletter  

  • More than 100 experts and representatives from international organisations participated in the UfM online consultation on the future of the Blue Economy in the Mediterranean region.
  • Taking into account the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, they provided more than 350 recommendations in key sectors such as governance, fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, renewable energies, marine litter, blue jobs and safety and surveillance.
  • Their inputs will help to prepare the upcoming meeting of the UfM ministers in charge of Blue Economy, foreseen in 2020.

The Mediterranean is in an alarming situation, warming 20% ​​faster than the world average, according to the first-ever scientific report on the impact of climate and environmental change in the Mediterranean, developed by MedECC with the UfM support. It is estimated that about 15 mega port cities are at risk of flooding, unless further adaptation is undertaken. Maritime transport is one of the most important blue economy sectors in the Mediterranean, both in terms of growth and employment. Yet, it accounts for 10% of marine pollution and 3% of air-polluting emissions. On top of that, about 8 million tons of plastic waste enters the ocean every year and one-time use plastics are making a massive come-back during this COVID-19 crisis. To face all these challenges, the UfM, with its co-presidency, conducted a virtual consultation through the participative platform, Med Blue Economy Platform, during March 2020.

The consultation was structured around priority themes identified with the UfM Member States, ranging from maritime governance, sustainable food, tourism, maritime transport to adaptation to climate change, blue skills development and employment. Around 100 entities – including research centres and universities, public administrations, private sector, international organisations and non-governmental organisations – submitted over 350 substantial feedbacks entries, as part of the preparation process of the 2nd UfM Ministerial Meeting on Blue Economy, foreseen in 2020.

Read the conclusions >>

National Hub gathers Italian stakeholders in a LNG working group

Within the support activities in the field of Sustainable Transport and Alternative Fuels, the Italian National Hub has activated a local working group, composed of stakeholders in the field of LNG for maritime transport. The members of this group include business associations, policy makers, national development banks, research institutes, consulting companies and universities.

A view of the future Higas Oristano GNL project in the port of in Port of Santa Giulia

The Santa Giulia – Oristano GNL project

Among them is Assocostieri, the association of Italian companies involved in energy (maritime) logistics and biofuels. It is one of the most pro-active members, having organised a survey among associated firms and collected seven project info-sheets about LNG bunkering facilities, some with re-gasification plants, which are looking for funding, financing, cross-border partnerships, etc..

With this aim, Assocostieri and the National Hub organised an info day on funding programmes and calls, including the Connecting Europe Facility, the EIB, national development banks and private equity funds. This took place on 5 March, immediately before the official lockdown in the country. The meeting allowed for online participation, so as to allow for people in the COVID-19 “red-zone” to participate.

Assocostieri Director General Dario Soria and Eng. Capaccioli introduced the work done thus far in the field and the project info-sheets obtained, to twelve private participants (7 of which joined remotely), two representatives of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure and the coordinator of Conferenza GNL, Diego Gavagnin, the first Italian initiative on the LNG related supply chain.


Italian National Hub then described the assistance activities, their ability to work with other Mediterranean partners, and went through a detailed presentation of the CEF Blending Facility call, the CEF MAP Reflow call, CEF II, EIB financing products – including the Green Shipping Guarantee Programme -and outcomes of ongoing talks with national development banks and private equity funds.

Basing themselves on the project info-sheets, the National Hub also prepared an assessment of access to CEF calls.

Logo of the Connecting Europe Facility funds

The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for Transport is the funding instrument to realise European transport infrastructure policy

Considering the preliminary availability of the Italian Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure to lead an LNG cross-border project, the next step is to match this availability with the most suitable project and to confirm the interest (already verbally expressed by many stakeholders) of other countries’ operators.

Similar initiatives will be undertaken with business associations of shipowners once lockdown measures due to the COVID-19 emergency are phased out, and it is expected that a gradual re-start of activity will allow companies to broaden their focus to include such topics, as concerns regarding their daily survival will diminish.

A next online meeting of the WestMED Technical Group for Sustainable Transport/Green Shipping will take place later in April.