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What are Blue Fishing Ports?

31/03/2021

Ports are considered knowledge hubs where many activities happen, and they all directly influence people’s lives. Maximization of this impact allows ports to be a source of value on which strategic and operational local development strategies may rely. So far, the blue economy approach comes as a strategy to be implemented within port management and planning processes to enhance the triple bottom line of fishing and commercial ports that include preserving the environment (e.g., reduced pollution) while fostering social benefits (e.g., decent and fair labour), and economic growth (e.g., sustained profits). 

The Blue Fishing Ports project intends to contribute to poverty alleviation and food security by reinforcing food quality, natural resources preservation, value chain reinforcement, labour rights compliance, and gender equality within marine sectors. Blue Fishing Ports will foster sustainable development of coastal areas through Blue Ports Operations.  

What are the Blue Ports Operations? 

The Blue Ports operations consist of: 

  • Formalization of the Blue Ports Network constitution 

  • Capacity building on Blue Ports management as hubs for innovation and implementation of sustainable development  

  • Design and implementation of innovative tools for knowledge management on national and international fishing ports 

  • Ports design and implementation strategies and actions under the Blue Growth approach 

  • Measure the real impact of Ports in their region so local development strategies may be adjusted 

In order to achieve the sustainable development of coastal areas, it is necessary to have these operations drive changes in skills and capacities of fishing and commercial ports to create sustainable value within their regions, therefore allowing people to improve their livelihoods. 

Blue Ports and FAO

The Blue Growth Initiative (BGI) led by FAO, reckons a “strategic, innovative approach to improving the use of aquatic resources while simultaneously increasing social, economic and environmental benefits for communities dependent on fisheries and aquaculture”. 

FAO fosters the Blue Ports Network, and it is a result of an inclusive, participatory process including port representatives, international and regional organizations, and port representatives. 

The first workshop (June 2019), organized by the Port of Vigo, Spain, sought to contrast the adequacy of implementing a blue economy approach in ports' strategic and operational planning. This workshop, with representatives from national ports from Asia, Latin America, Europe, and Africa, and international and regional organizations, highlighted interesting and relevant issues on the position of ports as drivers of change in the three dimensions of sustainability. 

During the second workshop (November 2019), stakeholders from the academia, private sector, local and regional government, and civil society were consulted on their role and perception of the Port of Vigo´s Blue Growth strategy as a driver change. As a result, best practices were identified. 

During a third online workshop (October 2020), FAO worked on designing a potential Blue Fishing Ports Network. Conclusions were positive, and agreed to start the process of formulating a specific initiative to be shared and launched soon. 

More information about this initiative- http://www.fao.org/fisheries/blue-growth/en/  

Tags: Blue Ports, fishing, Vigo, FAO, fisheries, aquaculture, blue economy

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