The European Union and most other countries of the world are now en route for the organized exploitation of marine wealth.
In this context, they design and develop policies for tourism, fishery, aquaculture, transport, energy, research, environment etc.
Marine and maritime economy sectors provide in EU jobs for 5.4 million people and contribute a total gross value added of around 500 billion euros. By 2020, these should increase to 7 million and nearly 600 billion euros respectively.
European Union with its Integrated Maritime Policy seeks to enhance the sustainable development of seas and oceans and to develop coordinated, coherent and transparent decision-making in relation to the Union’s sectoral policies affecting the oceans, seas, islands, coastal and outermost regions and maritime sectors, by facilitating the cooperation of all maritime players across sectors and across borders. IMP specifically covers these cross-cutting policies: Blue growth, Marine data and knowledge, Maritime spatial planning, Integrated maritime surveillance, and Sea basin strategies.
The high and rapidly increasing demand for maritime space for different purposes, such as renewable energy installations, oil and gas exploration and exploitation, maritime shipping and fishing activities, ecosystem and biodiversity conservation, the extraction of raw materials, tourism, aquaculture installations and underwater cultural heritage, as well as the multiple pressures on coastal resources, requires an integrated planning and management approach.
Critical issue for the countries of the Mediterranean and of course for Greece is the future of coastal and marine tourism, given that the intense structural problems and peculiarities has negative results on employment growth and on sustainable economic development. Meanwhile, signs of deterioration of the environment are noticeable with rapidly growing maritime traffic, climate change, over-fishing and degradation of coastal areas being some between them.
Maritime spatial planning supports and facilitates the implementation of the “Europe 2020” strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth aimed at achieving high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion, including the promotion of an economy more competitive and more efficient in terms of resources use. Coastal and marine sectors have significant potential for sustainable development and are crucial for the implementation of the Strategy “Europe 2020”.
The 2nd THALATTA conference aimed to highlight exactly those capabilities for development through a sustainable maritime economy, and to serve as a forum for the presentation and constructive discussion of the prospects existing in technological developments through the modern perspective on the growth potential of the seas.
As the conference took place in Santorini there were special sections that related to issues of particular interest to the island, as the construction of a second cable car, and cruise in general, the port and the possible alternatives, the marina for yachts, the protection of the marine environment, the sustainable fisheries etc.
Islands & Sea:
Building a sustainable maritime economy
4 - 5 October 2014, Santorini, Greece
21 years of continuous presence
in the Greek tourist and convention scene
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