The importance of the sea for Galicia is a reality from time immemorial in its economy, social structure and culture. The maritime sector continues to be crucial for the socio-economic development of the Galician and Spanish society, providing numerous employment opportunities in areas such as: artisanal fishing, high seas and marine aquaculture; shipbuilding; the ports; maritime transport; recreational sailing; marine research and all the clusters that are closely related to the maritime sector.
The evolution of the Law of the Sea and the accession of Spain to the European Union in 1986 are affecting considerably the Spanish and Galician maritime and fishing sector, in some cases questioning the existing structures and in others promoting their growth. In any case, the maritime and fisheries sector is immersed in an increasingly complex environment, both due to international competition and the existence of different levels of decision making and complex regulatory mechanisms. The sustainability and competitiveness of the activities of the blue sectors currently face several challenges related to foreign trade and the internal market, competition policies, economy, employment, and environment. Galicia faces challenges framed in each of the aforementioned challenges that have revealed weaknesses in the legal knowledge of the new scenario and that directly affect the profitability of productive activity.
Within the framework of the Blue Growth initiative, promoted by the Port Authority of Vigo, for the first time it was possible to gather representatives of the maritime and fishing sectors, civil society and researchers from different entities to address various issues of competition policy that they affect the maritime and fishing sectors such as: unfair competition, different applications of community rules, consequences of international free trade for Spanish and Galician importers and exporters, among others. In the meetings of the working group “Level Playing Field” of the Blue Growth Plan, the participants analyzed the status quo of the blue economy, the shortcomings and possible solutions. The view was expressed that improving maritime and fisheries legal knowledge is an important factor in stimulating innovation, development and economic growth in the medium and long term.
The general objective is to strengthen sectoral capacities through the generation, management and transfer of maritime and fishing legal knowledge. MarInnLeg is created with a light and agile structure as a meeting point (hub) that offers the economy and society blue advice, training and results of fund research of maritime and fisheries legal issues. In this sense, MarInnLeg offers viable alternatives to sectoral problems in the face of a new maritime and fisheries legal scenario from a comprehensive legal perspective.
The generation of knowledge is a fundamental pillar to promote sectoral development. In this line, the legal field is critical to favor an environment of legal security under which the sectors can base their growth. That is why it is proposed to create a common base of maritime and fisheries legal knowledge in favor of sustainable development that will affect the competitiveness of all sectors of the blue economy. It is expected to gather and strengthen the capacities of applied research in legal matters in order to promote the availability of knowledge, analysis, information, and applied tools of utility for all stakeholders of the blue economy and society, that is to say for the different sectors, public administrations and civil society.
– Representatives of all four-helix interest groups increase their maritime and fishing legal knowledge according to their needs.
– The knowledge obtained facilitates the private sectors to increase their competitiveness and contribute to maintaining / generating employment.
– The public administrations make the decisions, based on the acquired knowledge, focusing on the needs of the groups of interest.
– The cooperation between the members of the quadruple helix is reinforced.
MarInnLeg contributes to generate, transfer and manage maritime and fishing legal knowledge through the following activities:
– Maritime and fisheries legal advice: Various legal advice services and products are offered to the private sector and public administrations.
– Training: Specialized training is organized to reinforce the capacities of professionals in the sector, among other specific seminars analyzing topics of interest, Specialization Courses.
– Observatory: An observatory is created providing specialized information to stakeholders (sectors, administration, civil society, universities). Regulation (national, community, international) is compiled and made available; national and international jurisprudence; white, green and blue EU books, among others. In addition, a Bulletin is published periodically in electronic format with information on legislation, judgments, current events, published articles, etc…
– Research: MarinnLeg promotes research by supporting specific initiatives at the regional, national and international level, such as publications, specialized reports, outreach activities such as round tables, conferences and conferences.