Europe, the Ocean and Feeding the World
At the rate that the world population is growing, more and healthy food will be need by 2050. Agriculture will be called to contribute eventually more than today. However, a shift in the paradigm of feeding is needed. The Oceans are expect to contribute in these efforts. Concomitantly, science, innovation, management of behaviour and consumption changes – notably with regard to waste-reduction and more ecologically efficient production and distribution – will have a role to play in this regard. However, arguably the single biggest opportunity to meet the growing food challenge is through an increase in the role played by the ocean as a milieu for responsible, healthy and sustainable food production. In fact, while the ocean accounts for 50% of biomass production on the planet, it only accounts for a small fraction of food (globally 2% calories or 15% protein). Therefore, in theory, there is a potential to redress the balance and alleviate some of the enormous pressure on land-based resources. Furthermore, this makes sense in terms of minimising the impact of food production on the biosphere since the ecological efficiency of biomass production in an aquatic milieu is higher than on land. The challenge to do this while at the same time ensuring recovery of the health of the global ocean should be relevant and taken in account.
This event will discuss this issue and more particularly what part Europe can play. With a combined exclusive economic zone of 20 million km2 and a coastline, which is, seven times, as long as the US's and four times that of Russia, the EU has a unique and disproportionately high level responsibility and interest in this opportunity.
What is an Intergroup?
The Seas, Rivers, Islands and Coastal Areas Intergroup is one of the 27 Intergroups that were approved on 11 December 2019 by the Conference of Presidents for the 9th legislature of the European Parliament. Intergroups can be formed by MEPs from any political group and any parliamentary committee with a view to holding informal exchanges of views on particular issues and promoting contact between MEPs and civil society.
The Seas, Rivers, Islands and Coastal Areas Intergroup brings together more than 100 MEPs from 7 different political groups and 23 Member States.
Intergroups are not Parliament bodies and therefore may not express Parliament's opinion.
Intergroups are subject to internal rules adopted by the Conference of Presidents on 16 December 1999 (last updated on 11 September 2014), which set out the conditions under which intergroups may be established at the beginning of each parliamentary term and their operating rules.