Press Conference remarks on Blue Innovation – Interview Maria Damanaki

Mrs. Maria Damanaki is Managing Director in the Global Oceans Nature Conservancy. Ms Damanaki lead a global team focused on the way the world manages today’s oceans, including sustainable management of fisheries, protection and restoration of large-scale coral reefs and other ecosystems, as well as mapping and quantification of total valoarii ocean. He worked for four years as EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. Ms Maria Damanaki projects are ambitious 2020 wanting to make 1.6 million new jobs and an income equivalent of $ 750 billion in sectors such as coastal tourism, ocean energy, and marine biotechnology. In addition, developed a common framework for mapping Planning and a better management of maritime activities in EU countries.

Is an experienced politician, was president of Synaspismos, left party in Greece, a member of the Hellenic Parliament, the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK). Ms Damanaki was born in Agios Nikolaos, Crete, in 1952, and studied chemical engineering at the National Technical University of Athens. As a student, he joined the Communist Youth of Greece, the youth section of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), was actively involved in the fight antidictatorial and students took part in the uprising at the Athens Polytechnic. Damanaki was the voice of the famous “Εδώ Πολυτεχνείο” (“This is Politehnica”) radio broadcast during the riots, was arrested and tortured by the Greek regime. From 1977-1993 she was elected Member of Parliament constantly Elen, first with the Communist Party and then with Synaspismos, where he became president in 1991. In November 2009 she was nominated as the representative of Greece in the European Commission and 27 November 2009 was elected Commissioner-designate for maritime Affairs and Fisheries, serving from 2010 to present.

The European Commission proposed a new fund for the EU policies in fisheries and maritime affairs for 2014-2020:

The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).

(This interview the desire to learn directly from authority (ex) no. 1 in Europe that wants to be the fund EMFF)

The fund will help meet ambitious reform of the Common Fisheries Policy and will help fishermen both in the transition to sustainable fisheries and coastal communities diversify their economies.

The fund will finance projects that create jobs and improve the quality of life along the coasts of Europe. It will reduce bureaucracy so that beneficiaries have easy access to that funding.

Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: “This new fund will accelerate economic growth and create jobs in the sector. Do not spend money for the construction of large ships. Artisanal fisheries and aquaculture will be the beneficiaries of this environmental guidelines of the budget for the Common Fisheries Policy. “

This new fund will replace the existing fund not only POP, European Fisheries Fund, but also some other tools. The proposed financial envelope of EUR 7.5 billion for 2014-2020.


Supporting the principles of environmental, economic and social reform of the Common Fisheries Policy EMFF will be a fundamental tool for reform of the common fisheries policy proposed by the Commission in July. The transition to sustainability requires some radical changes in how we fish – and the fund will give fishermen incentives they need so that fishing can harm marine ecosystems less, can end overfishing and dwindling fish stocks tend to be reversed.

While alleviate pressure on stocks, giving them time to recover, depending on fishing communities will have to find alternative sources of income. EMFF will help them to find innovative ways to enhance the added value of their catches and to diversify the economy.

But EMFF is not only a catalyst for transition to sustainability and to good economic performance. EMFF is also a means of achieving the social agenda of the Commission. Wives / husbands often play a fundamental role in the family fishing business. Now, wives / husbands can receive support for training or for other economic activities related to fishing. POs will be helped to plan production to meet market demand and sell their products in a way that audiences expectations of increasingly demanding.

A Smart, Green Fisheries

Despite the amount of EUR 1.7 billion spent in the ’90s until now scrapping, the EU fleet still suffers from overcapacity, as decommissioning of vessels was offset by technological modernization of the remaining fleet. Therefore, the money will not go for dismantling, but will be used for productive activities in economically and socially. Diversification is one of them. So far, initiatives upward gave excellent results in the areas of fisheries, for example, processing, catering and tourism. EMFF will reinforce this type of community-led innovation. As small scale coastal fleets remain essentially the economy of many coastal communities will be enhanced to support their aid.

The new fund will support innovative projects, such as the replacement of fishing nets with more selective gear to reduce discards at sea, or the development of new technologies that could reduce the impact of fisheries and aquaculture on the environment.

An intelligent and organic aquaculture

Aquaculture has a huge potential to reduce our dependence on imports. Provides high-quality jobs in rural areas and make healthy food on the tables of Europeans. The Fund will seek to stimulate the industry in a sustainable way, rewarding innovation and promoting also new branches of aquaculture, ie non-food aquaculture.

Support partnerships between scientists and fishermen

The fact of having adequate data on the state of fish stocks and the marine environment in general has an essential role in the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy and the EMFF will provide sufficient funds for data collection, monitoring and control. Because it makes no sense that those working at sea (fishermen) and those who study the sea (scientists) to live in separate worlds, the EMFF will encourage working together to find ways to exploit natural resources in a sustainable way.

A single fund for fisheries and integrated maritime policy

Integrated Maritime Policy of 2007 established link between maritime sectors that have always been divided and managed in isolation. EMFF will support projects such as maritime spatial planning, integrated maritime surveillance and marine knowledge. These are examples of cases in which integration can help avoid duplication and reduce costs through better cooperation and coordination across sectors. Inclusion in maritime policy EMFF will ensure greater consistency and contribute to the achievement of synergies between the two political branches.


The rules governing the EMFF will be harmonized with those of other EU funds. This will make life easier for beneficiaries and national authorities. EMFF will be part of the new common strategic framework that will ensure that all existing EU funds will work consistently, avoiding overlaps and duplications.

How does the fund

The new fund will be used to co-finance, together with the Member States of Projects. The total budget will be allocated to Member States according to the importance of the fisheries sector in each country. Next, we will apply the principles of shared management between the Commission and the Member States. Each Member State shall draw up an operational program for the programming period, specifying how they intend to spend the money allocated to it. After the Commission approves this program, it shall decide exactly which projects to be funded. Both the eligibility of actions to be supported and implementation of the program are monitored by the Member States and the Commission.