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Small countries, but ocean giants

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Assunção Christa, and Secretary of State of the Sea, Manuel Pinto de Abreu, on a ocean strategy roadshow, starting in Oslo.  Photo: Dag Yngland

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Assunção Christa, and Secretary of State of the Sea, Manuel Pinto de Abreu, on a ocean strategy roadshow, starting in Oslo.  Photo: Dag Yngland

Controlling more than 50 % of the total European maritime zone, the two small nations Portugal and Norway are maritime giants that now want more marine innovation under the umbrella of EUs blue strategy.

Explorers and innovators have played main roles in Portugal´s long maritime history. Being hit hard by the recent financial crisis, the country has again turned to the Big Blue for ways to create new growth. Portugal is expected to be one of the main contributors and beneficiaries of new Blue Strategy of the EU. Fisheries, aquaculture, renewable energy and mining are among the projects that are being initiated and backed by the Portuguese government.

Return to the sea
- We want to return to the sea for our growth and prosperity, but in a modern and sustainable way, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Assunção Christa stated at a conference in the Portuguese embassy in Oslo. From Norwegian authorities, State Secretary at the Norwegian Ministry of Trade Dilek Ayhan attended as in order to confirm Norway´s strong interest in establishing future collaboration between the two countries.

40 x Portugal
Norwegian biomarine and ocean-tech companies are all alert to the potential of the Portuguese initiative. Due to the two archipelagos The Azores and Madeira, Portugal can already claim national jurisdiction to an area 18 times its terrestrial territory.
Due to new UN definitions of the continental shelf, Portugal might soon put forward claims twice as big, resulting in the country´s ocean territories comprising about 40 times the size of the land area, about the size of EU´s land mass and 1 % of the earth´s water surface.
Portugal´s Secretary of State of the Sea, Manuel Pinto de Abreu, presented the Portuguese National Ocean Strategy 2013 -2020 and opportunities in the biomarine and deep-sea mineral assets of Portugal.
- Norway and Portugal represent more than 55% of the total European maritime zone. They are two countries of marine innovation with strong potential in blue growth assets, said Mr. Pinto de Abreu.

 
To sum up:
The two countries can lead European blue growth and allow other European partners to benefit from their untapped natural biodiversity reserves. This can generate massive job creations, foster research and innovation as a first step stone towards reinforcing interactions in the biomarine industry especially in preparation of the October convention in Cascais, Portugal.

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