International ocean governance – What the fish?

A public consultation on the “international ocean governance” was initiated by the European Commission. It was closed on October 15, 2015.

According to the Commission’s definition, “governance” includes the “rules, institutions, processes, agreements, arrangements and activities carried out to manage the use of oceans and seas in an international context”.

Behind this “portmanteau word”, the Commission highlighted “Blue Growth”, i.e., the EU strategy for the 2014-2020 period that encourages profits and innovation in the maritime field. The ocean is presented as a supplier of “ecosystem services” and a “motor of the European economy” with “a large potential for innovation and growth”.

In our contribution to this public consultation, however, we preferred to emphasize that we were more inclined to participate in the creation of a “sustainable and ethical development project for the ocean and maritime nations”.

We underlined that the notion of “sustainable and ethical development” better corresponds to what we, European citizens, should seek to achieve in terms of social development and international solidarity within the boundaries of what nature can provide and with respect to the non-utilitarian and intrinsic value of marine ecosystems.

We also detailed some of the pressing issues that are regular hurdles to a sound management of marine resources: − The lack of transparency in political processes;

  • The lack of opportunity for NGOs and civil society representatives to participate in national and European decision-making, and even to obtain an observer status;
  • The absence of a legal status for ecosystems and non-human beings allowing an unsustainable and sometimes irreversible exploitation of marine resources;
  • Widely insufficient control and law enforcement;
  • Non-prohibitive fines in case of law infringement;
  • The lack of transparency in fisheries data.


See BLOOM’s contribution to the public consultation:


See our other contributions to public consultations

  • BLOOM’s contribution to the public consultation on a EU ecolabel for fishery and aquaculture products
  • (In french) Synthetic note in answer to the public consultation of the French Ministry of Ecology (Ministère de l’Ecologie, du Développement durable et de l’Energie) concerning the “10 action points about Blue Growth” following the national conference on the ecological transition for the ocean and seas (August 31st, 2015).

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