EU delivers on blue economy commitments made at Our Ocean conference

In a rapid follow up to the EU-hosted 2017 Our Ocean conference, and in the run-up to the COP23 Ocean Day in Bonn (11 November), the European Commission launched a new EUR 14.5 million investment initiative to further promote sustainable blue growth across the EU.


Funded under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, EUR 8 million from this initiative are set aside to help SMEs, including start-ups, testing novel products and services in high-potential emerging blue economy sectors, including ocean renewable energy. In order to better tackle the growing challenge of marine litter, a further EUR 2 million will target innovative technologies to prevent, monitor, remove and recycle marine litter from EU waters. Furthermore, EUR 3 million will support twinning projects in the Mediterranean Sea, including between maritime training and education institutions, blue economy businesses and local fishing communities. Finally, EUR 1.5 million is allocated to restoring marine and coastal ecosystems in the Mediterranean, including mitigation of climate change.

The Our Ocean conference (5-6 October in Malta) generated an unprecedented level of commitments : 437 were announced, including EUR 7.2 billion in financial pledges. The EU alone announced 36 commitments amounted to over EUR 550 million. Moreover, the EU–hosted conference saw for the first time large-scale mobilisation of the private sector in ocean conservation.

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Commitments made at the 2017 conference can also be found (PDF) at