Blue Platform workshop at BSSSC conference
Blue Platform organised a session at the BSSSC conference on 18-20 September 2019 in Klaipeda, Lithuania, titled ‘Blue economy as a driver for growth and sustainability of coastal regions’. The session was moderated by Lisa Simone de Grunt and focused on how regions could or should become more involved in the Blue Bioeconomy, as well as how to encourage more involvement of the youth in these sectors. Angela Schultz-Zehden – Managing Director of the SUBMARINER Network for Blue Growth, one of the partners of the Blue Platform project, introduced the session with a general presentation about Blue Platform and the SUBMARINER Network. Anne-Mari Luhtanen represented the Lead Partner of the project, the Finnish Environment Institute, and gave a presentation about blue biotechnology and aquaculture in Finland. Finland has a national development plan for the Blue Bioeconomy which looks onto 2025 as well as a Blue Biotechnology Agenda. However, the Blue Bioeconomy in Finland is still in the early stages and thus Anne-Mari stressed that more and better transnational cooperation is needed to reap the benefits of sharing know-how and expertise, and to share infrastructure and align sectoral legislation across borders.
Susanna Minnhagen works with the Kalmarsund Commission in Sweden, which was one of the partners in the Baltic Blue Growth project that worked to advance large-scale mussel cultivation in the Baltic. In Sweden, mussel farming is a growing sector and Susanna stressed that regions should be inclined to become more involved in the sector, as mussel farming closes the nutrient loop from agriculture and aquaculture. What is needed is to provide means to facilitate stakeholders collaborating on best practices and knowledge-sharing, and to clarify all relevant legal processes. Anda Ikauniece from the Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology (the Latvian partner in Blue Platform), took the opportunity to address how legislation plays a big role in the Blue Bioeconomy in the Baltic Sea. Since there are many legal EU frameworks, laws and regulations in place, as well as a plethora of national sectoral regulations, permitting procedures, etc., Blue Platform aims to align these policies for successful Blue Growth. This is done on the basis of the results of past and on-going projects, and so the project encourages and facilitates active discussions with all relevant stakeholders. Lastly, two gentlemen gave a presentation, beginning with Gintautas Narvilas, representing the Klaipeda Science and Technology Park, the Lithuanian partner in Blue Platform, who gave an overview of shrimp aquaculture in Lithuania. Lukas Behrens, a Youth Representative, explained how youth could be more included in the Blue Bioeconomy.
Presentation Angela Schultz-Zehden, SUBMARINER Network
Presentation Anne-Mari Luhtanen, SYKE
Presentation Anda Ikauniece, Latvian Institute for Aquatic Ecology
Presentation Susanna Minnhagen, Kalmarsound Commission
Presentation Gintautas Narvalis, Klaipeda Science and Technology Park
Presentation Lukas Behrens, Youth Representative