The Monaco Blue Initiative is a platform for discussion co-organized by the Oceanographic Institute, Foundation Albert I, Prince of Monaco and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, presided over by H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco. Its members meet annually to discuss the most current global challenges for ocean protection and preservation. It is an effective platform for communication and exchange between the different sectors of activity and stakeholders concerned with the utilization of the ocean and its resources. The aim is to create synergies between stakeholders concerned with the protection of marine ecosystems and socio-economic development.
The Monaco Blue Initiative was launched in 2010 upon the initiative of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco. The first editions brought forward the issues on large marine species and the deep seas as focal points for protection and conservation the interest of Marine Protected Areas as efficient and tested tools for effective protection, taking the example of the Pelagos Sanctuary for cetaceans around Corsica, Monaco and stretching into France as a testament to their value. Marine Protected Areas also emphasize the need for cooperation between all the stakeholders involved, theme that was discussed during the third edition in Yeosu in the frame of the international Exhibition. This collaboration and the need for synergy between economic development and environment protection was also discussed during the fourth edition through the concept of blue growth. The later is becoming more prevalent today, and new industries (renewable energies and sustainable aquaculture) are taking their place at the forefront of marine development and protection. The fifth edition on Chile was the occasion to discuss fisheries and aquaculture management, in a country with a widespread and important marine industry, with a focus on the integration of local communities in the process of management.
The 2015 edition pursued these discussions with experts and decision-makers worldwide on the theme: Feeding and fuelling the world through sustainable aquaculture?
Whilst the ocean is becoming an area for large-scale cultivation, it is crucial to consider the implications of this new situation in terms of environmental protection, regulation and collaboration. Indeed, these new challenges once again highlight the importance of involving scientists, industrialists, NGOs, etc., to the establishment of a sustainable production system and make the best rather than the most of these new resources.
Aquaculture has a real impact on marine environment but it could be developed in a very efficient way, notably using multi-trophic and recirculating aquaculture. Becoming a fundamental source of innovation, aquaculture is opening new perspectives as we are extracting more compounds that are suitable for human nutrition, cosmetics and even for the development of pharmaceutical products.
The farming of non-fed species as source of protein, minerals and vitamins is also one of the sustainable path for aquaculture, not only because these can be more environmentally friendly but also because the investment and farming costs are lower and therefore more accessible to small holders, including women.
The next edition will be held on April 3rd and 4th 2016 in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Pursuing the discussions of the 2015 edition, the Monaco Blue Initiative 2016 will also be the occasion to tackle Brazilian issues. Pursuing some of the discussions initiated in Chile in 2014, the participants will be invited to exchange on the status of aquaculture in South America, with a special focus on Brazil.
The sessions of the day will also tackle the themes of circular economy in aquaculture, notably through the use of by-products and the multi trophic approach of aquaculture. The question of sustainability will also be broached through its ability to feed local population.
Taking into account the global current issues, the MBI will dedicate a session to the role of Marine Protected Areas in marine ecosystem exposed to climate change, and an update on the topical issue of negotiations on the legal regime for the areas beyond national jurisdiction, the high seas, will be made during the day.