The crisis caused by the Covid-19 in France

In France, to cope with the crisis caused by the Covid-19, the shellfish industry, already in difficulty after a Christmas season marked by a high impact health episode, is demanding a rescue plan.


A letter co-signed by thirty deputies was sent to the Prime Minister to request a rescue plan for the sector.

Due to the crisis, professionals suffer an important scissors effect :

– Because of the closing of markets and restaurants, suspended exportations, the consumption collapsed, creating an average loss of about 80% of the usual turnovers. Direct sales have been too weak to sell the goods.

– The professionals have not been able to resort partial unemployment system: the shellfish, as a living organism, pursued its growth, forcing the professionals to work on the parks even if they couldn’t sell the product.

The collapsed sales, the longer water cycle, the professionals are left with an important stock, less valorized in terms of product size, which weigh on the cash and force the professionals to sell below cost.

So, they wish to benefit from a plan integrating an exemption from social charges to rescue the sector.

In Brittany, an historical meeting of all the sea professionals took place on June the 3rd in Concarneau to speak on one voice and find solutions. Innovating actions are launched with the creation of a Breizhmer Pack to play together and be more efficient and the launch of a Breton ecolabel to encourage consumers to privilege Breton products in taking advantage of the good image of Brittany. This is a good time to launch this ecolabel with a strong interest in the consumers for local and responsible purchasing.

Finally, reassurance news for consumers: a study from Ifremer validate the absence of covid-19 in oysters and mussels.



The CIIMAR PhD students’ committee is organizing the first CIIMAR students meeting entitled Blue Think Conference: Share Science, Spread Knowledge. Our aim is to gather all students affiliated with our institute in a casual and relaxed environment to share the outputs of our works. The presentations will be divided into three sessions that will be framed in the scope of CIIMAR three main research lines, each session will count with the presence of renowned scientists who will talk about their scientific careers, professional experiences and most important work achievements.

This event will take place on 17th September 2020, from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. Considering the current Covid-19 situation, we are now preparing to host the event on an online streaming platform and simultaneously in the CIIMAR main building.

Submission of abstracts and registration are open until july 17!


Please see the conference website to check all the information, if you have any doubts do not hesitate in sending us an e-mail

The 5th edition of Ocean Hackathon: An international initiative to promote innovation in blue economy.  

The 5th edition of Ocean Hackathon: An initiative to promote innovation in the blue economy sector.

Ocean Hackathon is an initiative led by the Campus Mondial de la Mer (Brest, France) which encourages sharing, the use of new digital technologies and an entrepreneurial spirit. The resultant projects enhance the value of marine and maritime data, often by repurposing it. Data providers focus their efforts on improving data accessibility and comprehension and are involved in coaching participants throughout the event.

During the Ocean Hackathon, teams work non-stop for 48 hours in response to the challenge of producing an innovative project that include a demonstrator and used the varied marine and maritime data provided.

Since it was first launched in 2016, Ocean Hackathon has brought together a new community around the ocean and digital environments. Originally based in Brest, it was extended in 2019 to other venues in France and beyond.

Ocean Hackathon will be held simultaneously in 19 cities in 2020: Ancona, Boulogne-sur-mer, Brest, Cadiz, Cardiff, Cartagena, Castellon, Champs-sur-Marne, Deshaies, La Rochelle, Le Havre, México, Nantes, Rimouski, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Saint-Malo, Sète, Split and Toulon.

Ocean Hackathon is organised in three stages:

  • Call for applications from cities.
  • Call for challenges submitted by private individuals or bodies.
  • Registration of participants who will make up the teams.

In 2020, you too can be part of this dynamic event by submitting your challenge in the city of your choice (until the 30th of June 2020).

To submit your challenge or find more information about the Ocean hackathon, find a link here.

Approaching trade winds: challenges and opportunities for Ireland’s Blue Economy

Ireland is not unique in Europe or the world in having to deal with the economic shock of a global pandemic-precipitated crisis. However, the country has been confronted with, as is widely reported, the possible economic double whammy of dealing with the fallout of COVID-19 and a potential Brexit without a trade deal. Worryingly, with nearly two months to go before the extension deadline passes, EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan has given a downbeat assessment of the situation.


2019/20 saw a sea change in trading infrastructure in Ireland with the introduction of a rail/sea freight service from Waterford to Rotterdam and a freight/passenger/car service to Bilbao and Santander. The Waterford-Rotterdam link is significant because for the first time Ireland has a direct rail to rail connection with mainland Europe, the most railway-connected corner of the planet.

New connectivity to the mainland European rail network will in time be especially beneficial to the developing western transport corridoor. Image: stiú

These new trade links to continental Europe have been a long time in planning and it is fair to speculate that Brexit has perhaps expedited the process. Of course, the continent has been connected directly by roll-on roll-off for a long time via Cherbourg and Roscoff. To access core northern European markets has been to date more effective over the UK land bridge. To this end, the Rotterdam route, again, is achieving two strategic goals: Irish rail network connectivity to the European rail network and a direct route to a significant core market. The Biscay coast provides for the first time a direct roll-on roll-off service from Cork to southwestern Europe.

Even if—as many hope is the case—EU-UK trade continues without new barriers, the additional direct trading routes will make the West of Ireland more connected and reduce over-reliance and pressure on Dublin as a potential trade bottleneck.


Potaí gliomach, lobster pots ready to be reset, Cill Chiaráin, Conamara, Ireland. Image: stiú

The fishing industry has been among the harder hit in the most recent crisis, with mixed fortunes. The COVID-19 Emergency Payment Scheme where furloughed workers as well as those who’ve lost their jobs are entitled to an emergency payment. Some fishermen are protected by this scheme and some not. This is especially unfortunate of course for an industry that often struggles with precarious market conditions. The Irish Farmers Association attested to the immediate need for aquaculture supports as well. IFA Aquaculture Chairman Michael Mulloy said amendments to rules for the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) have been introduced which allows for support measures to be implemented for aquaculture producers.

Ready to go fishing. Image: stiú

“Irish aquaculture producers are suffering cash-flow problems with 40-60% losses in turnover compared with the same period last year, as the closure of food service sector across Europe has a direct impact on the industry,” he says, according to the IFA.

Access2Sea’s stated aims are to improve the attractiveness of the Atlantic shore for aquaculture SMEs by enabling new business opportunities and providing sustainable and easier access to it. Identifying ways and means of improving the business operating environment for sustainable aquaculture in Ireland goes hand in hand with the sustainable development of inshore fishing and tourism, since these sectors spatially and regulatorily overlap. Nowhere is the interdependency of these industries more visible than in Ireland, its Gaeltacht region even more so. The Irish partners are of course Údarás na Gaeltachta and WestBIC. It is hoped that the resulting roadmap for change will be of benefit to the entire coastline from Ireland’s northernmost Ceann Mhálainne to Cádiz in the South of Spain.

Incidentally, Ireland had a direct maritime trade boom with France, Portugal and Spain up until the end of the 18th Century. This door was firmly shut when Ireland was brought into the UK sphere of influence from the 19th Century on at the expense of continental trade. Access2Sea, an Interreg Atlantic Area project has partners situated in Ireland, the aforementioned Gaul-Iberian coutries, as well as the UK. Keeping all routes and trade open this time round has been Ireland’s priority from the start of recent crises, something that’s not expected to change. This will be put to the test as we navigate inclement economic conditions.

Effectively managing the Blue Economy will necessarily be at the fore in weathering these storms.

Madeira Out Of The Box Aquaculture Project

There is an aquaculture company at Madeira Island, Portugal that, with the support of Mar 2020, invested 1.2 million euros in the modernization and expansion of its production unit at Ribeira Brava. To know all about this project, visit the project vídeo at:

Webinar on the future of FEAMP 2021-27 in Portugal

In the week in which Europe Day is celebrated, the Sea Management Authority 2020 participated in a webinar on the future of FEAMP 2021-27 in Portugal organized by the Platform of Portuguese Non-Governmental Organizations on Fisheries – PONG-Pesca.

This cycle of online conferences comes at a time when the European institutions are discussing what the future framework of the European Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Fund will be for the period 2021-2027. In order to give voice and space to public participation and discussion, every week on Wednesdays, since March 25, between 2 pm and 3 pm, with free participation, there was the intervention of a guest speaker followed by a question and answer space, where the entire audience is invited to participate.

Watch the 5th. and last edition of this cycle of webinars, which took place on May 6:

El Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación presenta al sector el paquete de ayudas comunitarias para hacer frente a los efectos del COVID-19 en la actividad pesquera en España


Entre las medidas aprobadas se incluyen ayudas a las paradas temporales, compensación a los productos acuícolas, reactivación del almacenamiento o ayudas a las regiones ultraperiféricas

Alicia Villauriz ha mostrado su satisfacción por el texto final aprobado, que recoge gran parte de las propuestas españolas, elaboradas gracias a la estrecha colaboración con el sector

En la reunión se han analizado las principales líneas de actuación que serán necesarias para implementar estas ayudas

La secretaria general de Pesca, Alicia Villauriz, ha mantenido hoy una videoconferencia con representantes del sector pesquero a los que ha presentado las medidas aprobadas por la Unión Europea, a través de la modificación del Fondo Europeo Marítimo y de la Pesca para hacer frente a los efectos que el COVID-19 está teniendo en su actividad.

En la reunión, en la que han participado miembros de Cepesca (Confederación Española de Pesca), Federación Nacional de Cofradías de Pescadores, Apromar (Asociación Empresarial de Acuicultura de España), Anmupesca (Asociación Nacional de Mujeres de la Pesca), y de los sindicatos CCOO y UGT, se han intercambiado puntos de vista sobre las medidas a desarrollar para implementar las ayudas.

La secretaria general de Pesca ha expresado la satisfacción del Gobierno por el texto final aprobado, que recoge muchas de las propuestas planteadas por España. Alicia Villauriz ha agradecido al sector su estrecha colaboración desde el inicio de esta crisis sanitaria, cuyas aportaciones han sido fundamentales para elaborar la iniciativa española.


Entre las medidas aprobadas se incluyen ayudas a las paradas temporales para armadores, tripulantes y mariscadores; la compensación a los productores acuícolas por la disminución de las ventas de pescado, la reactivación y ampliación del almacenamiento (medida que se había eliminado desde el año 2017), la mejora del apoyo a las Organizaciones de Productores y medidas extraordinarias de compensación para las regiones ultraperiféricas.

En el marco de estas nuevas medidas aprobadas, se han analizado las principales líneas de actuación que serán necesarias para implementar las ayudas, tanto para la pesca como para la acuicultura.

Asimismo, la secretaria general ha informado al sector de los resultados de la videoconferencia realizada ayer con los responsables de las comunidades autónomas, en especial sobre el programa de trabajo previsto para poner en marcha este paquete de ayudas.

La secretaria general de Pesca ha acordado remitir al sector pesquero y acuícola un primer documento con las propuestas recibidas, para avanzar en las posibles decisiones que favorezcan la continuidad de las empresas pesqueras y el mantenimiento del empleo.



“Cluster Algue” in Brest: an exciting concept to promote the Algae sector

The « Cluster Algue » is an exciting concept developed in Brest (France) to promote the algae sector.

In 2018, «Le Pays de Brest », an organisation aimed at supporting the economic development in Brest’s area, created “Le cluster Algues” to support the algae sector to grow. This initiative is part of the economic development process of the “Campus Mondial de la Mer” which is an organisation that promote innovation in the marine sector in western Brittany (France).

With a unique algae biomass by its quality, diversity and quantity, the presence of a large quantity of innovative business, universities and research centers that work on the marine sector, Brest and its surrounding has huge potential to develop the algae sector.

This cluster enables the different stakeholders of the algae sector to work together (producers, research, public…). Algae cluster’s main objectives are:

  • To strengthen R&D and transfer to algae’s businesses.
  • To structure algae supply to make it efficient and sustainable.
  • To develop synergies and cooperation to stimulate the local algae sector.


Find more information about the Algae Cluster (French):

Find more about the « Campus Mondial de la Mer » (English):

EAStalk webinar – Javier Ojeda – “The role of Aquaculture Advisory Council”

The European Aquaculture Society (EAS) is organising a series of free webinars (EAStalk). The next one, which will take place next Tuesday April 7th at 14:00 (CET) will be presented by Javier Ojeda.

Javier Ojeda is General secretary of the Spanish Aquaculture Farmers Association (APROMAR). He is also Vice president of the Spanish Technology Platform for Fisheries and Aquaculture (PTEPA), Counsellor at the Spanish Economic and Social Council and Chair in the Spanish Standardisation Bureau on aquaculture. From these positions he contributes at a national level promoting responsible aquaculture in front of public authorities, policy makers, trade unions, media, NGOs and researchers. Javier is also deeply involved at international level.

For further information and to register for the webinar, please visit the event page here.

Sustainable Aquaculture Workshop

The Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research had the pleasure to host international colleagues to the Sustainable Aquaculture Workshop held on the 19th of February, 2020 at Swansea University. Four international speakers presented and facilitated discussions around hot topics in aquaculture.

  • Paul Howes introduced the Access2Sea project
  • Dr Sara Barrento explained the concept of biophilic leaving and how aquaponics can be used in biophilic design.
  • Prof. David Gethin showcased the STREAM project: Sensor Technologies for Remote Environmental Aquatic Monitoring.
  • Fleuriane Fernandes highlighted the potential of microalgae production in waste water treatment

All participants add the opportunity to visit the Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research facilities including the RAS systems for tropical and cold water species from freshwater and marine habitats.