“The blue economy employs 50,000 people and has around 700 companies in Málaga”

“The blue economy employs 50,000 people and has around 700 companies in Málaga”

Javier Noriega is the President of Andalusia Sea-Marine Cluster (CMMA)A group that brings together 142 companies working in the blue economy sector and where they transmit their great passion to the world: the sea.

How is the blue economy currently developing in Málaga?

-Malaga lived its best moment when it saw the sea, the first thing to take into account. So, repeating it is key to being a leader. Currently, around 50,000 workers and 700 companies are linked to the maritime-fishing industry in the province, while these figures have risen in Andalusia. 300,000 jobs and 4,000 to 6,000 companieswhich translates to 10.5% of GDP of society, approx. Also, for the first time, a ministry has explicitly attached the term blue economy to its mandate in its title. In total, 142 companies belonging to blue tourism, blue biotechnology and marine crops sub-sectors are represented in the cluster; Fishing, Aquaculture and Fish Processing Industry; Logistics, Ports and Maritime Transport; Underwater robotics and underwater archaeology. Related projects are ongoing inside and outside of it, such as the common strategy we are developing with the eight Andalusian provinces; Promote nature tourism linked to the Provincial Council’s Blue Route; Or, in the world of digitization, some of the initiatives of international companies that focus on what we are doing here.

-Malaka has a privileged geographical location. A lot of them emphasize that this factor is not used enough. Where should the next moves go?

-Province should prioritize excellence. The most important thing now is for governments to step up at the administrative level to stimulate companies and create jobs. Even though we’ve been working out for years and have some muscle, we still demand impulsive actions. There are interesting companies operating in the sea from robotics, logistics, environmental engineering, underwater cultural heritage. For our part, we want to establish it. Blue polos Continue deepening the model by integrating these infrastructures in the ports, the city Pentagram Helix, which is very powerful in the world of technology. It occurs more in areas like California in India or Palo Alto in Bangalore; But we have expanded our area. We are building access points on the Andalusian coast and in the south of Portugal to create a powerful network internationally. A surface will be needed where the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO), research groups and maritime institutions are located. Create a center of R&D&I projects and build a deep pool, a historic request in the diving industry, as Spain has only one in Madrid.

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The Commonwealth of West Costa del Sol’s municipalities have opted for what are now called s.Hard sea ship. That is, connecting municipalities by sea to reduce congestion on land routes. Do you think it will turn out to be a solid alternative?

-He sHard sea ship It is a project that contributes to reducing polluting gases, reducing accidents and keeping roads free. The objectives, also reflected in the European Commission’s white paper, establish that such trips should be reduced by 2030 due to the pollution they generate. This would provide a huge boost to tourism, not least for marinas along the coast. We are used to seeing the world from the ground. Imagine entering the mouth of the harbor and looking out over the landscape, Alcazaba and Gibraltar Castle. This gives us a picture of what past travelers had. The result is a fantastic business card for Málaga.

One of the pillars of the cluster is a focus on training. How big of a job market could this sector be in the future?

-The indicators we use are positive and increasing. In the next ten years, if everything is done right, millions of jobs can be created. We have data indicating that it will be one of the most powerful markets in Andalusia. The request is significant. And in professions that earn more than decent salaries. What happens is that, on the one hand, many people don’t have a school that teaches them how to do it and it requires very specific training, and on the other hand, vacancies are deserted because people are not aware of these career opportunities. This is why we are trying to bring ocean closer to the youth. European Maritime DayFor example, we welcome children who come on an excursion with their schools to the harbor for a placement day; When it comes to show boats, many of them want to be the boat captain. It is a shame that we live in a coastal province and people live away from the sea.

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The port’s megayacht marina is already underway, though it has stalled, and plans are underway to build a luxury marina in San Andres. Do you see these efforts as positive?

– Any tour that diversifies is good. It aims to accommodate any type of citizen including those with high purchasing power. Malaga is already on the map in terms of megayachts, we need to go deeper into that line. Also, each ship uses the surrounding ones 25 to 40 people. They are the most important customers for the economy. They can come, consume, spend the night and repeat many times. And they care a lot about sustainability: they make sure the water they use is treated, the energy is clean, and the products they use for basic anchoring work are local and quality.

The numbers are there, but do you think a certain segment of the population might perceive this as elitist?

We understand what it takes to democratize access to the ocean, especially for younger people, with initiatives like this. Municipal Sailing Schools. Navigation is a good way to make first contact. The rest of the world sees this as a good thing. It is an engine of economy. To think of it as elitist is an outdated view. It has always brought prosperity to people, understanding it as a redistribution of wealth, that’s why we need to bring it closer to children, because it represents the future horizon for them. To know Him is to love Him.

Has Malaga forgotten its roots? Let me give you an example of the case of Astilleros Nerio in Petregalejo. Andalucia’s only riverside carpentry shop and its facilities are at risk in part due to the renovation of the promenade.

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– It is important to preserve our heritage. Both subject and object. And Nirio Shipyard exemplifies both. To do this, what we need to do is encourage efforts to evaluate it. Look, I was recently in Marseille, which has the first underwater archeology museum in Europe. Having something like this is a very valuable asset. Málaga is a province with thirty thousand years of history, and we have what it takes to run a company in this style. The Phoenician site of Cerro del Villar, which was the seed of the territory and the civilization that gave us the maritime, Roman remains of the 19th century mercantile bourgeoisie, was thanks to the sea. . Our coast is littered with shipwrecks and 95% unexplored. Our history should be told through museums. We don’t count it. As a native of Málaga, it is very important for young people to learn about ancient industries such as cenachero. One day I learned about the case of a girl who passed by a statue commemorating him and asked who the man with the scales was. It is very sad to see such things. We have a lot of work to do.

– And do you think that this view can only be changed through historical dissemination? A lot of people who prefer the usual options of sun and beach tourism will be abandoned far away from the proximity of maritime uses and customs.

-Promoting the protection of the marine environment, for example. Caring for nature, besides being necessary, has a lot of appeal. What’s really important is that people realize that there are things beyond going to a beach bar to have a sardine and a beer, which is wonderful because it contributes to a better model, but there’s so much more. We have a plan to name streets connected to the sea and fund related works. Another wonderful resource, very deeply rooted is the day Carmen the Virgin, in which coastal populations migrate to the sea. There should be something like this, but on a daily basis.


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