Plentzia Marine Station interviews Ibon Cancio (UPV/EHU)

The Plentzia Marine Station in the University of the Basque Country (PiE-UPV/EHU) in preparation to the Decade of the Ocean Science for Sustainable Development has a special section in a weekly science dissemination radio program. The name of the program is “Norteko Ferrokarrila” in “Euskadi Irratia” and the name of the section of 25 minutes is “The mermaid´s corner”. The program of the 31st of May 2019 was dedicated to inform the people on the Nagoya protocol and its implications in the sustainable utilization of marine genetic resources.

The link to the program can be found here:

The section with an interview to Ibon Cancio begins in minute 28.

Euskadi Irratia, is the Basque public radio, in Basque language and it has an audience of 402,000 people.

EBB and the Nagoya Protocol

On the 10th July 2019 Fiz da Costa, Project manager of the EBB, presented the project “European Blue Biobank (EBB)” and Belén Sánchez, who is a Professor of International Public Law at University of Vigo, gave a presentation entitled “Cuestiones jurídicas relativas al acceso y utilización de recursos genéticos: Del Convenio sobre la Diversidad Biológica al Protocolo de Nagoya y su implementación en España” at
the Instituto de Investigación Mariñas (IIM-CSIC), Vigo, Spain. Researchers from Misión Biologógica de Galicia-CSIC of Pontevedra (Spain), IIM-CSIC of Vigo, CETMAR (Vigo,) and other institutions and general public discussed during nearly 3 hours about the implications of Nagoya protocols and its related regulations on the research projects implementation.

Abstract of the presentation:

Belén analyzes in her presentation, from a legal perspective, the issues related to the access and use of genetic resources explaining different instruments that create, in the end, the complex puzzle in which the conditions of access, use and fair participation are established and equitable in the benefits that derive from its use. The objective of this presentation is to present, from the perspective of a user of genetic resources, the steps to follow to comply with the requirements that derive from different international legal instruments, that is, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Nagoya Protocol on access to genetic resources and fair and equitable share in the benefits that derive from their use -of which Spain is a part-; from an European perspective, such as the Regulation (EU) No 511/2014 of the EP and the Council of 19 April 2014 on measures of compliance of users of the Nagoya Protocol on access to genetic resources and fair and equitable participation in Benefits arising from its use in the Union and Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/1866 of 13 October 2015 laying down detailed rules for the application of Regulation (EU) No 511/2014 of the European Parliament and the Council with regard to the registration of collections, the monitoring of compliance by users and the application of best practices; as well as the Spanish implementation measures established in Royal Decree 124/2017 of February the 24th regarding access to genetic resources from wild taxa and control of use.

Know more:

Seminar | The law of the sea and vulnerable people and groups

On 24th May 2018, Laura Movilla presentedChallenges of developing countries in the access and benefit-sharing of marine genetic resources” at the seminar: “The law of the sea and vulnerable people and groups”, held at the Port Authority of Vigo.

Abstract of the presentation:

Developing countries face specific access and benefit-sharing difficulties related to the utilization of marine genetic resources, mainly due to their low marine scientific training and poor development of marine technology. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) establishes the general legal framework on the rights and obligations of coastal States and of third countries, regarding access to the different marine areas and their resources, as well as the provisions on marine scientific research and marine technology transfer. On the subject of marine genetic resources under national jurisdiction, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (Nagoya Protocol) address the historical claims of the developing countries, where the objective is fair and equitable benefit-sharing from the utilization of genetic resources and related traditional knowledge of indigenous and local communities, including proper access to genetic resources and appropriate technology transfer. Negotiations are underway for drawing up an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, which will also address marine genetic resources, capacity building and marine technology transfer issues.

Café con Sal conference cycle

On the 19th February 2019, Antonio Villanueva, Coordinator of the EBB project, presented at the “Café con Sal” conference cycle, the implications for marine biological researchers of novel regulations regulating access to genetic resources, with the lecture “ABS: are you talking about my car brakes?“. With this conference, Antonio Villanueva, coordinator of EBB project, aimed to raise awareness among research staff about this legal requirement, giving to the assistants some basic information and some tips to reduce as far as possible the impact of these new regulations on their activity.

The conference took place at the conference room of the ECIMAT at 11:00h (CET) and was live streamed on and will be permanently available on CIM ( and UVigoTV websites:

Presentation of Antonio Villanueva by Alba Hernández, CIM-UVigo

Conference by Antonio Villanueva, CIM-UVigo

Questions time by Antonio Villanueva, CIM-UVigo

The presentation can be downloaded following the link

Fórum Oceano promoted EBB project during the Business2Sea event

The 8th edition of Business2Sea – Sea Forum was organised by Fórum Oceano, the Portuguese Maritime Cluster, in collaboration with CETMAR Foundation, from 14th to 16th of November 2018. The event took place in Oporto, under the main topic “2030 Sea Challenges”, gathering around 600 stakeholders from 10 European and non-European countries.

Business2Sea is an international event dedicated to the development of projects and business, in the different sectors of the Economy of the Sea. The initiative comprised a series of thematic workshops and conferences, pitching sessions, B2B meetings and an exhibition area.

In its own stand, Fórum Oceano promoted the ongoing projects in which it is involved, namely the EBB project, giving some key information on EBB’s aims and objectives.

Seminar | From ocean to lab: Marine genetic resources and their application in the production of novel bioactive molecules

It is well known that oceans are home to an enormous biological diversity and represent a reservoir, barely explored, of a multitude of bioactive molecules with potential applicability in different fields such as human health. The path from collecting marine organisms, detecting molecules with biological activity, all the way until these reach the market as a pharmacological product, is extremely complex.

In this context, the Centro Tecnológico del Mar (CETMAR) organised on November 9, 2018, under the project BlueHuman, a seminar entitled “From the ocean to the laboratory: Marine genetic resources and their application in the development of new bioactive molecules”.

The purpose of this seminar was to know in depth aspects related to this complicated process, including the legal aspects surrounding the use of genetic resources for commercial purposes. The seminar involved multiple stakeholders from the scientific community, industry, civil society and policymakers.

The researchers Antonio Villanueva, Belén Sánchez and Laura Movilla from the University of Vigo represented the EBB team at the seminar.

5th Atlantic Stakeholder Platform Conference

The annual Atlantic Stakeholder Platform Conference is the central hub for stakeholders of the Atlantic Strategy to meet, seek ways of cooperation, share information and identify funding and financial opportunities and partnerships for their projects and business. It offers a great transnational publicity opportunity to deliver the Atlantic Action Plan key messages and further promote awareness of its achievements.

The 5th edition of the conference was held in Vigo, Spain, on October 23-24, 2018. The conference focus was on actions to boost youth employment in the maritime domain and it gathered political leaders, maritime clusters, enterprises, academic institutions, funding donors and investors from all across the Atlantic seaboard. More specifically, this year’s conference focused on how to pursue a career in the maritime sector, how to obtain the necessary skills and embrace innovation without negatively affecting employment in the Atlantic area, while at the same time emphasising present opportunities for project development relevant to the Atlantic strategy and to the objectives of the Atlantic Action Plan.

During the conference, the Atlantic Project Awards winners were announced. The EBB project was the winner in the “Atlantic Marine and Coastal Environment” Category. These Awards are designed to honour outstanding success stories, achieved by projects in the geographical area covered by the Atlantic Strategy that showcase relevance to the implementation of the Atlantic Action Plan. They promote individual winners but at the same time highlight the incorporation and scaling up of best practices at regional, national, European and international level.

Agenda of the event.

EBB participation in the Sea Tech Week 2018

The Sea Tech Week is an international event dedicated to marine sciences and technology, happening every two years in Brest. This year, Pôle Mer Bretagne Atlantique and EMBRC-Fr have come together to work on the organisation of a session dedicated to the access to marine biological resources so-called “Bioresources: unlocking and accessing the potential of the marine environment”, on Tuesday October 9th 2018.

Marine bioresources are at the heart of economic activities in the maritime regions, providing the food we eat, the air we breathe, and to an increasing extent new products and a new frontier to explore in terms of biotechnological advances. Brittany and the surrounding regions have a wealth of expertise and projects valorising biological resources from the sea and continue to drive and innovate the biotech sector. This one-day session gave a flavour of what Brittany has to offer of activities related to marine bioresources in public-private partnerships, industrial R&D, and fundamental research, and how to access the marine ecosystems, its biological resources and related expertise through the international network of research infrastructures present in Brittany

After a welcome speech by Justine Pittera (PMBA) and Nicolas Pade, the session was organized around four major themes:

– Mapping of innovation based on marine biological resources in Brittany and Pays de Loire: emphasis on the main actors (academic and private), trends in the marine bioresources used, etc.
– Biodiversity observation and trends in biotechnology
– Research infrastructures : advanced tools to support fundamental and applied research in marine biology
– How can RI have a role to play in the synergies between fundamental and applied research in order to reinforce the relationship and foster innovation ? This discussion took place under a round table format.

During the third slot dedicated to RIs, Nicolas Pade presented EMBRC-ERIC with a special emphasis on the activity of EMBRC-Fr. UVigo has also participated in this session, with Cristina Secades as speaker, presenting the EBB project: “EMBRC Blue Biobank project: how to facilitate access to marine biological resources“; describing the scope and objectives of the project, presenting the expected outcomes for academic and private researchers.

Marine Biodiscovery Science Workshop

The Marine Institute hosted a one day workshop on Tuesday, September 4th that brought together Irish researchers broadly working in the field of marine biodiscovery in order to facilitate knowledge exchange, identify potential synergies and research links, and increase awareness of the national expertise, data and other resources. This with the view to maximise the potential of marine biodiscovery at a national level and to contribute at the same time to the development of this field of research in a European context.

The workshop was opened by Dr Peter Heffernan (Marine Institute, the State agency for the marine research in Ireland) and chaired by Dr Jeff Fisher (Marine Institute – morning session) and Prof. Olivier Thomas (NUI Galway – afternoon session). Both NUI Galway and the Marine Institute are in the forefront line to foster the marine biodiscovery in the country. Prof. Olivier Thomas also opened the scientific contributions to the workshop with an overview of the construction of a National Marine Biodiscovery Laboratory in Ireland, focusing in particular on the demonstration of its new database. Maria Vittoria Marra (NUI Galway) explained the importance of taxonomy in biodiscovery and in this context introduced the Irish participation to the EBB project. To do that, in the second part of her talk M. V. Marra presented first EMBRC and its mission and then the two EMBRC projects in which NUI Galway is involved, i.e. Assemble+ and EBB itself. Focusing on the latter, she also reported data from the EBB workshop in Brest (May 2018) on the level of awareness of the companies enquired about ABS and Nagoya protocol. The following speakers described some exciting contributions of the academic research in Ireland to marine biodiscovery focusing on the potential of macroalgae (Dr. Dagmar Stengel, NUI Galway), the  bioactive peptides of marine origin as functional foods (Prof. Dick Fitzgerald, U Limerick), the deep-sea genetic resources (Prof. Louise Allcock, NUI Galway) and the marine microorganisms (Prof. Alan Dobson, UC Cork). The industry point of view was introduced by David O’Neill with the experience of the Bantry Marine Research Station in county Cork. The workshop provided also the opportunity to benchmark the activities of the researchers  operating in Ireland through the invitation of European colleagues working in the development of marine biodiscovery, i.e. Prof. Jeanette H. Andersen (UIT Norway), Dr. Fernando Reyes (Fundacion Medina Spain) and Prof. Gudmundur O. Hreggvidsson (Matís Iceland).

The workshop was followed on the 5th fo September by a roundtable about two main topics: i) marine biodiscovery as contribution to the development of the Bioeconomy Center supported recently by the Irish government and the ii) plan of establishing a fit for purpose national biorepository for Ireland. Prof. Grace McCormack (NUI Galway) introduced to the discussion the EBB project highlighting its potential role in implementing the outcomes of the roundtable. The parties involved acknowledged the utility of the EBB actions for the accomplishments of the objects discussed and expressed an interest in being involved in the next steps of the project.

Click here for the agenda.