Introduction by Mr Karmenu Vella

There are two main reasons why investors are looking at the ocean.

First, the ocean has the potential to meet societal challenges and needs. We are burning too much fossil fuel. Waves have the potential to provide 50% more power than the total consumption of planet Earth in 2015. We are running out of land and freshwater to produce food. Seafood needs neither. We must take care of a growing and ageing population. Marine life, which is much more diverse than life on land, can help us to develop new pharmaceutical products.

Second, technology has advanced to a point where we can reach that potential. Advances in materials allow us to build equipment that can survive storms, corrosion or biofouling. Advances in robotics have cut down the cost of building, operating and maintaining infrastructure and equipment located offshore or deep below the surface. And advances in genetics enable us to understand how the unique biodiversity of the ocean can be harnessed to provide food, energy and medicine for a population that is growing in numbers and expectations.

Karmenu Vella

European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries European Commission.

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