8th BioMarine International Business Convention
1-3 oct 2017, Rimouski Qc, Canada View Location

Jun 12

June Editorial

“It’s all about Leadership….”

The failure of international organizations in addressing major issues of our marine world reflects the current lack of political leadership. We are living in a period similar to that of the Great Depression in 1929, characterized by conservatism, caution and economic structural readjustments. These solutions, however, fall short of yet another reality. With the aggregate marine bio-resources business envisioned to be worth $180 billion by 2016, some countries have understood that future economic growth would have to encompass this sector. I would like to share with you three examples of innovative countries showing an amazing leadership and shaping the future of the blue economy.

Last week, I was privileged to attend the third edition of the Monaco Blue initiative in Yeosu, Republic of Korea, the site of the international exhibition dedicated to oceans and marine biodiversity. Along with HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, hundreds of personalities from the world of research, industry, and international organizations, came to discuss the economic development of marine protected areas with respect of environmental constraints. I was pleasantly surprised by the interest and desire shown during the conference, to innovate and provide economically sustainable solutions to these environmental issues. A consensus was reached on the importance of “blue growth” as a key component of our economies, which will only materialize through the productive collaboration between industries, investors and applied research. HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco was the first to engage in this innovative path, reaching out to the world of finance, industry and research, encouraging them to join forces and bring their expertise and skills on specific projects. Monaco is a dot on the global map but HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco is one of these charismatic leaders who can proof that size does not matter. His driven approach to foster marine conservation with the support of industry, investors and the research community is of example!

Three weeks ago I was in Portugal attending the Forum Do Mare in Porto. The president of Portugal himself was actively participating along with the secretary of state for the sea, and several key stakeholders. He explained how Portugal will be going back to the sea. The blue growth is definitively written in their international development strategy and the country has already set up the stage to attract marine bio resources businesses and collaborative projects with foreign universities. To foster this strategic development and support private investment a dedicated fund will be launched before the end of the year. Portugal is an essential driver of the blue economy. Since the beginning, Portugal has shown a great leadership in the definition of the European maritime policy. It’s a natural attitude….

Canada, Northern Quebec: The Makivik Corporation had already talked about these new approaches during the previous BioMarine Convention in 2011. Our Canadian friends north of Quebec, always at the forefront of innovation, have developed a business model that ensures the sustainable exploitation of marine resources in exchange for a percentage of the profit generated. These refunds help sustain the local communities with a source of income while also improving the socio-economic development of the region. It always seems simple but it requires vision and leadership. These entrepreneurs and politics are showing new ways new collaborative approach which benefit both to the economy and the sustainable and social development of local populations.
Since 2008, our BioMarine community has demonstrated through each of our meetings, the necessity to reinforce cross-sector exchanges in order to maximize opportunities for collaboration and development. The rapid growth of our industry is principally based on entrepreneurs and innovative SMEs, which are struggling every day to advance research and innovation in the world of bio marine resources. These firms are the seedbed of our development and it is crucial to support them and to help them develop. The blue economy is definitively recognized as an attractive and reliable part of our economy; now we need political leadership to comfort it!

Our October summit will bring these communities together. It is organized around six thematic Thinktanks. It is a unique interactive platform seeking necessary recommendations for the future development of our bio-marine sectors. BioMarine is truly a unique experience in which each of you has contributed actively. I hope we will have the chance to welcome you again this year in London on 24 and 25 October to work actively on the six main themes. These works will serve as a base for the development of our 2013 North America BioMarine Business Convention which will be held from 6 to 9 September in Halifax – Canada

Pierre Erwes
Chairman BioMarine