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EUROPEAN BIOECONOMY - The blue bioeconomy has climbed up the global, regional and national agendas in recent years. There are increasing expectations as to its growth potential. Despite the generally positive outlook, investors need reliable information in order to evaluate the new investment opportunities in this fast-growing field, and so there should be a comprehensive way to approach the blue bioeconomy and facilitate decision-making. That is why a recent European Commission study carried out by EUMOFA has looked into the opportunities and challenges associated with the use of aquatic biomass to create products.
The "blue bioeconomy" is any economic activity associated with the use of renewable aquatic biological resources to make products. Examples of such products include novel foods and food additives, animal feeds, nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals,
cosmetics, materials (e.g. clothes and construction materials) and
energy. Businesses that grow the raw materials for these products, that extract, refine, process and transform the biological compounds, as well as those developing the required technologies and equipment all form part of the blue bioeconomy.
subject is structured into 5 sections:
More than 50% of any finfish product does not directly enter the human food chain. White fish such as cod may generate almost 60% waste, ocean fish such as tuna as much as 70%. For shellfish such as scallops, wastes are as high as 88% of catches and harvests. Among main uses, the following could be mentioned: novel foods and food additives, animal feeds, nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, materials (e.g. clothes and construction materials) and energy.
2. The size of demand
Associated with the expected growth in aquaculture, the demand for fishmeal and fish oil is expected to increase. As concerns high-end uses, the outlook of the segment is bright, in view of an ever-increasing share of the population placing value on a healthy lifestyle.
3. Top products and uses
Seaweeds are primarily used for producing products for agriculture (fertiliser, animal feed) and are used also for the commercial production of additives (alginate) for food and non-food applications. New uses are in development especially from cultivated algae.
4. Investment trends
Blue Biotech is being gradually perceived as a potential good high-return investment. Furthermore, some governments are launching positive signs for supporting the sector e.g. through tax incentives and the creation of favourable regulative framework. Among top products attracting major investments, seaweed, microalgae and sea cucumbers play a key role, but also others are evolving rapidly.
5. National strategies to support the blue bioeconomy
Several European countries have adopted overarching science strategies, plans and policies. Most of them are not specific to the blue bioeconomy but include this sector to some extent. No global pan-European plan, strategy or policy specifically dedicated to marine biotechnology exists at present.
BALTIC - Bioeconomy consists of the management of renewable biological resources and their conversion into food, livestock feed, bio-based products and bioenergy. It involves tackling major challenges, both now and in the future. Bioeconomy is one of the cornerstones for the Baltic Sea Region economies. The region is extremely rich of forest biomass, has strong agricultural sector and the blue bioeconomy is well developed. The region, as a net biomass producer, can realize a great opportunity by focusing on increasing the value of products and services throughout the value chain.
Europe is setting course for a resource-efficient and
sustainable economy. The goal is a more innovative and low-emissions economy, reconciling demands for sustainable
agriculture and fisheries, food security, and the sustainable use of renewable biological resources for industrial purposes, while ensuring biodiversity and environmental protection.
How does the bioeconomy contribute to the Commission's political agenda
* A Resilient Energy Union with a Forward-Looking Climate Change Policy
Europe needs to diversify its sources of energy and can support breakthroughs in low-carbon technologies with coordinated research. Replacing fossil raw materials with biological resources is an indispensable component of a forward-looking climate change policy.
A Deeper and Fairer Internal Market with a Strengthened Industrial Base
The Bioeconomy and Commissioner's
Carlos Moedas agenda for Research and Innovation
2. it is open science as it promotes research across disciplines and borders;
3.it is open to the world because it promotes research across the EU and outside the EU borders and cooperation at a global scale to tackle global challenges.
WHY IS THIS AN EU LEVEL ACTION ?
Mankind now has the underwater technology to explore the sea and undertake DNA sequencing to analyze its life. Concerted action from the EU at this early stage joins up the efforts of EU countries in order to provide critical mass and hence stimulate blue growth and facilitate access to competitive niche markets whilst avoiding risks to the marine environment.
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MARINE LIFE - This humpback whale is one example of a magnificent animal that is at the mercy of human activity. Humans are for the most part unaware of the harm their fast-lane lifestyles are causing. We aim to change that by doing all we can to promote ocean literacy.
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