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World Maritime Week 2023 kicks off with the Basque Country's maritime sector in attendance

2023 March 21

• At the inauguration, Vice-Minister Oroz defended the importance of combining tradition with modernisation to ensure sustainability and the need for strong leadership by the European Union in regional fisheries organisations.

The Vice-Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Policy of the Basque Government has had a prominent presence at the World Maritime Week (WMW), which is being held at the Bilbao Exhibition Centre from 21 to 23 March. Deputy Minister Bittor Oroz took part in the opening plenary session and, together with the Director of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Leandro Azkue, also opened two sessions of the Eurofishing Technical Congress, in which international experts will address the challenges of marine spatial planning and tuna management with real cases.

In his opening remarks, Oroz wanted to launch two main messages: the importance of combining tradition with modernisation to ensure the sustainability of the sector, “working together to unite interests that preserve the seas and enable the durability of an age-old sector, through respectful fishing” and the need for strong leadership by the European Union in regional fisheries organisations.

World Maritime Week is the benchmark event for the international maritime sector, and in parallel it hosts four international congresses related to the following sectors: naval (SINAVAL), fishing (EUROFISHING), port (FUTUREPORT) and energy from waves, tides and currents (OCEAN ENERGY CONFERENCE).

It features an exhibition area, an extensive conference programme and an important section dedicated to Networking, which will host reverse missions - B2B meetings with international shipowners and shipyards, a delegation of buyers and authorities and the first World Maritime Week Awards. A total of 84 companies have exhibited their products and around 90 experts of the highest international level have spoken at the technical conferences.
The Basque Government is a sponsor of WMW and a member of the Eurofishing scientific committee. It also forms part of the panel of judges for the WMW AWARDS, which are being held for the first time and which award four prizes, one for each sector represented at each congress.

As part of the exhibition, the autonomous executive has a stand shared by the Directorate of Fisheries and Aquaculture, the Directorate of Ports and Maritime Affairs and the Azti technology centre, which will showcase the various advances made in the Basque Country in each area and the technologies and tools developed to improve the efficiency, sustainability and profitability of fishing through the digitisation of fishing.

Eurofishing Technical Conferences

Fishing has its forum at Eurofishing, whose main theme revolves around Marine Spatial Planning (MSP), an essential tool for sustainable coexistence between traditional and emerging uses of marine space. This session ended with a roundtable where participants discussed the different perspectives and interests of the different users of marine space. Another Eurofishing event will be held in the framework of Eurofishing: the Conference of Freezer Tuna Vessels.

The conference, organised by ANABAC and inaugurated by Deputy Regional Minister Oroz, dealt with the environmental and socio-economic criteria that currently define the world tropical tuna fishery and accompany the fleet in a globalised sector. During the same day, researchers from Azti gave a lecture on tuna RFOs and Bermeo Tuna World Capital, an initiative promoted, among others, by the autonomous government and Azti.

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Politicians attending the event