Nikolaos Anagnopoulos holds a degree in Biology from the University of Athens and an MSc from the Institute for the Biological Exploitation of Lagoons of the National Council for Research, Lesina, Italy. He has a long experience in fisheries, aquaculture, aquatic environment and rural development, having worked both in the public and private sectors. In the private sector, he has worked as technical consultant-advisor of aquaculture companies and their professional associations, and as an owner of aquaculture company, as well. In the public sector, he has worked both as officer or as technical advisor for the implementation of fisheries and environmental programs and projects. He has conducted and supervised numerous studies and programs. He is also the author of several articles on fisheries and aquaculture and he has participated in many congresses and committees in Greece and abroad.


Kathrine Angell-Hansen currently holds the position of Strategy Director of JPI Oceans, after holding the position of Director of JPI Oceans secretariat since 2010. JPI Oceans is an intergovernmental European initiative, promoting alignment of research policies, activities and investments. She is seconded to the secretariat by Norway and holds a position as a Deputy Director General in the Norwegian Ministry of Trade. Previously, Kathrine was seconded as a national expert on research to the European Commission task force in DG MARE developing the EU integrated maritime policy. Prior to her position in the Ministry in Norway she worked as a Deputy Director in the Research Council of Norway. Kathrine has also worked for 10 years in the private sector in Norway and Europe, mainly relating to oceans industries.


Marina Argyrou is the Director of the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research (DFMR) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, Cyprus, since December 2015. She started her professional career in 1989 at the DFMR and from her previous positions at the Marine Environment Division she developed research activities in the fields of marine biodiversity and ecology and in particular, on the implementation of Habitats Directive as regards marine Natura 2000 sites, monitoring and assessment of Cyprus coastal waters under the Water Framework Directive, development of Marine Protected Areas, including Artificial Reefs, and protection and conservation of endangered marine species and habitats. She has participated in several EU and Interreg funded projects and has published over 24 peer-reviewed papers. She is the National Focal Point for the Protocol concerning Specially Protected Areas and Biodiversity (SPA/BD) of the Barcelona Convention, as well as the National Focal Point for MED POL of UNEP/MAP. Since 2010, she is the Marine Director of Cyprus for the implementation of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive.Mrs Argyrou holds BSc degree on Biology from Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece and MSc degree on Marine Ecology from Tulane University, New Orleans, U.S.A.


Steven Beckers is a C2C accredited Architect & Consultant, Co-founder of Lateral Thinking Factory Consulting (LTFc) involved in Circular Economy in Urban development and of Building Integrated Greenhouses (BIGH) involved in urban aquaponics farming. Steven was awarded numerous international prizes for his transversal vision of environmental approach to architecture including (Berlaymont EC headquarters (Brussels) and Council of Europe (Strasburg), Expo 98 HQ (Lisbon). He is regarded as a referent in Circular Economy/ Cradle to Cradle on projects, entrepreneurship, NGO(Ethiopia) and educational fields. His company BIGH is developing the first large Aquaponic farm in Belgium with integration to the support building, thus illustrating Circular Economy based food production. Aquaponics agriculture integrates in one single loop the production of proteins, high quality fish such as striped bass and high quality tomatoes and other high plants, aromatic herbs, cress without waste, on rain water and solar energy in the city for the city. Aquaponic is thus one of the economically sustainable solution to fresh local food and urban farming solution at an industrial scale.

Fabrizia Benini

Fabrizia Benini is Head of Unit in charge of structural support in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and Landlocked countries in the European Commission's Maritime affairs and Fisheries Directorate General (DG MARE). A lawyer by training, educated in Italy and Belgium, she joined the European Commission in 1995 first at the Internal Market Directorate General where she was responsible for negotiations with third countries on personal data transfers, notably the US and Canada. She subsequently joined at the Competition Directorate General for 9 years where she was in charge of the antitrust cases in the maritime transport sector. In 2008 Fabrizia became the Head of Unit in charge of the integration of maritime surveillance and Maritime Policy in the Mediterranean in DG MARE. In 2012, she joined the cabinet of the European Commission's Vice President Antonio Tajani, responsible for Industrial policy.


Helle Breindahl is a certified business coach with a master degree in Philosophy. She works as a freelance consultant with several years of experience in Community Led Local Development (CLLD) – working with local fisherman and sustaining the local fishery community. She is currently the FLAG manager for LAG Djursland, Denmark, which funds projects that contribute to a sustainable local fishing as well as projects that utilize other maritime resources such as seaweed and tourism.

Giampaulo Buonfiglio

Giampaolo Buonfiglio is currently the National President of AGCI AGRITAL (Associazione Generale Cooperative Italiane Settore Agro Ittico Alimentare) , of CIFAP (Consorzio Italiano Fidejussorio Acquicoltura e Pesca), of the Consortium UNIMAR (studies and scientific researches), of the Alleanza Cooperative Italiane Coordinamento Nazionale del Settore della Pesca, of the “Fish” Working Group of COPA COGECA, and MEDAC (Advisory Council for the Mediterranean).

He holds a degree in Biology with a dissertation on lagoon management (Lagoon of Nador - Morocco), and worked as professional diver and in aquaculture and fisheries technical services until he became President of the Cooperative AGEI (Agricoltura e Gestione Ittica). He has worked as FAO consultant for a Mediterranean Regional Aquaculture Project (Medrap) and in several bilateral and multilateral cooperation programmes for the development of aquaculture and fisheries in some 22 African and Latin American countries.


Alain Cadec is a French politician from Brittany, France. He is a member of the party "Les Républicains" (right-wing) and a member of the EPP Group in the European Parliament. Alain Cadec has been a member of the European Parliament since 2009. In July 2014 he was elected Chairman of the Committee on Fisheries. He is especially involved in fisheries and maritime policy: He was the rapporteur on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) and on the European Strategy for the Atlantic. Alain Cadec is also involved in the politics of his home region. He was First Deputy Mayor of the city of Saint-Brieuc from 2001 to 2009 and was elected Chairman of the council of Côtes d'Armor in 2015.


Pierre Carnet graduated from the University of Perpignan via Domitia with a Master's degree in marine activities management in 2013, just before joining the Producer Organisation "OP Pêcheurs de Bretagne". He now coordinates the preparation and the implementation of the Production and Marketing Plan (PMP) of that same OP, ensuring the follow-up of the operations involved by its PMP, among which the management of the harvesting rights, market interventions and marketing support for fishery products, the development and follow-up of research programs on fish stock assessments and on the reduction of the environmental impacts of fishing operations.


Yves Champetier has considerable experience in territorial development at local, regional, European and international level. He was the director of the LEADER Coordinating Unit in Brussels from 1992 to 1994, and of the European LEADER Observatory from April 1992 to January 2001. From 2001 to 2013, he was the director of business development at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Montpellier (France). In parallel, Mr Champetier also ran a consultancy specializing in territorial development at international level. In 2006-2009, he assisted DG MARE with the preparations for the implementation of Axis 4 of the European Fisheries Fund. In 2010-2014, he was also involved in local development projects in Tunisia, notably within the ENPARD programme. He is currently an expert with FARNET, the European network of fisheries areas, and with the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD).

Christophe Clergeau

Christophe Clergeau est membre du Comité Européen des Régions, 1er vice-président de la commission NAT (agriculture, alimentation, mer, pêche, forêts, ...). Il est rapporteur d'un avis du Comité Européen des régions pour "une nouvelle étape dans les politiques de croissance bleue". Christophe Clergeau est conseiller régional des Pays de la Loire après en avoir été le 1er vice-président au développement économique et à l'innovation entre 2010 et 2015.


As Policy Officer for the Pew Charitable Trusts, Vera Coelho leads Pew’s policy work related to ending overfishing in north-western Europe. She conducts policy analysis on fishing opportunities, multi- annual plans and implementation of the landing obligation, and coordinates Pew’s work in the advisory councils. Before joining Pew, Vera managed the Wetlands International’s European programme based in the Netherlands and worked for Seas At Risk as assistant director in Brussels. She holds a master’s degree in European Studies from the University of Siena in Italy.


Dora Correia is Director for General Affairs and Resources in the Commission's Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE). As such she is responsible for a very diverse portfolio including inter-institutional relations, legal affairs, informatics, human resources, budget and financial management, external and internal communication, audit and ex-post control.
Dora joined the Commission in 1996 where she has worked in a number of different departments. Her positions covered a variety of topics, including the preparation of previous multiannual financial frameworks, better regulation, policy development, and relations between EU institutions. She has also been an Assistant to the Secretary-General of the Commission and a Member of the Cabinet of Vice-President Šefčovič, then in charge of Interinstitutional Relations and Administration. She joined DG MARE in 2012 as Head of Unit responsible for "Information, Communication, Inter-Institutional Relations, Evaluation and Programming", where inter alia she contributed to the successful inter-institutional discussions on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.
Dora has studied International Relations and Political Science in Lisbon. She also holds a Master in European Studies from the College of Europe in Bruges.


Alex a native of Cahersiveen Co Kerry and is the Owner-Skipper of MFV Emma Lou T450. He gained a range of experience working abroad a variety of vessels in the South West of the UK, working his way from deck hand to Chief Engineer. After this Alex took the plunge and bought his first vessel MFV Sweetwaters T450 which he fished from Cahersiveen until he upgraded to MFV Emma Lou in 2007. He fishes a range of inshore species including: potting for brown crab, lobster, and spider crab; inshore trawling; dredging for scallop; gillnetting, trammel netting and tangle netting for crayfish. Alex has been involved in both the Iveragh Fisherman’s Co-op and the Valentia Harbour Fisheries Society since he began fishing from Cahersiveen. He has extensive experience serving on both boards of management and is currently honorary secretary of Iveragh Fisherman’s co-op . He was appointed as a representative of the inshore sector to the Working Group on Safety Training and Employment in the Irish Fishing Industry by Minister Coveney.

Jacki Davis

Jacki Davis is a leading commentator and analyst on European Union affairs. She is a very experienced journalist, speaker and moderator of high-level events both in Brussels and in EU national capitals, the editor of many publications, a regular broadcaster on television and radio news programmes and documentaries commenting on EU issues, and both a Senior Adviser and member of the Governing Board at the Brussels-based think tank, the European Policy Centre. She has been based in Brussels for 25 years, and was previously Communications Director of the European Policy Centre; launch editor and editor-in-chief of E!Sharp, a monthly magazine on EU affairs launched in 2001; the launch editor of European Voice, a Brussels-based weekly newspaper on EU affairs owned by The Economist Group, from 1995-2000 (which has now become Politico); and the Brussels correspondent of a British national newspaper.

Miglena Dobreva

Miglena Dobreva is a financial instruments advisor in the fi-compass team at the EIB providing support to ESIF managing authorities implementing financial instruments in the 2014-2020 programming period.
Before joining the EIB, Miglena has been responsible for management of EU pre-accession and Structural Funds programmes in Bulgarian Ministry of Economy with 10 years of experience in monitoring of grant projects and financial engineering instruments for SMEs, set up under the JEREMIE Initiative in Bulgaria.
She is a PhD graduate in Economics, specialising in the field of EU Cohesion policy and PPPs, with a Master’s degree in International Economic Relations at the University of National and World Economy in Sofia. As a Fellow of the Carl Friedrich Goerdeler Kolleg for Good Governance she specialised in various public and private institutions in Germany.

Gilles Doignon

Gilles Doignon is Information and Communication Officer at the European Commission's Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE). He is in charge of campaign design, strategy and coordination and was the Communication Coordinator for the 2017 "Our Ocean" international conference and for the present conference on Coastal Communities Development. He has also been involved in the communication campaigns "Inseparable: eat, buy, sell sustainable seafood", "Farmed in the EU" and "MedFish4ever". His previous responsibilities within DG MARE, included a policy officer position in charge of the relationships with the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and a Desk Officer position, responsible for the follow up of the implementation of the fisheries structural funds in France.

Before joining the Commission in 2008, Gilles was first in charge of Oceana discards and by-catches campaign within the European Union and later Global Seafood Leader for World Wildlife Fund (WWF) when he was involved in the supervision of national seafood campaigns, the development of WWF global sustainable seafood strategy, the coordination of WWF seafood activities, the production of guides and the promotion of contacts and partnerships with the industry. His previous professional practices, also include working as project manager for GIPPA, a scientific expert group advising and supporting government, administration, and stakeholders in Belgium (Wallonia) and developing scientific research on marine biodiversity in Europe and Papua New Guinea. Gilles holds a Masters in marine biology and a teaching degree in biology from the Free University of Brussels.

Ralf Döring

Ralf Doering is Chief Economist at the Thuenen-Institute of Sea Fisheries in Hamburg, leading the Department for Economic Analyses since 2009. He holds a Diploma in Economics (University of Kassel, Germany), and a PhD in Natural Resource Economics (University of Greifswald, Germany). From 2002-2009 he was Assistant Professor/Senior Researcher at the Department of Land Economics, University of Greifswald. He worked mainly on the economics of small scale fisheries and how to achieve sustainable fisheries in coastal waters. At the Thuenen-institute in Hamburg his main research interests are fisheries economics, the economic dimension of the ecosystem approach to fisheries management, bio-econoimic modelling and the assessment of social and economic impacts of fisheries management measures. From 2012-2015 he coordinated the EU FP 7 project SOCIOEC and is now WP leader in the Horizon 2020 projects SUCCESS and CERES. Since 2007 he is member of the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) and is actually Vice-Chair of the Committee.

Evelina Doseva

Evelina Doseva is currently responsible for a project to increase the awareness and the role of small-scale fishermen in future policy-making decisions at national and European levels, by integrating good ecologically-friendly practices in the Black Sea region. She has been the director responsible for project and staff management at the centre for the integration and education of youth from ethnic minorities and a senior expert in the Directorate for Ethnic and demographic issues in the Council of Ministers of Bulgaria. She has participated in the formulation, implementation and coordination of international projects and programmes, including those financed by EU pre-accession funds and by other EU programmes (PHARE 1997, 2001, 2002). Her professional experience also includes the management and administration of the Open Society Club Pleven, a non-profit organization.

Evelina was trained as an engineer in electric machines and equipment at the Technical University of Varna in 1980 and later gained postgraduate qualifications in European territorial management from the economic faculty of the University St. Kliment Ohridski in Sofia in 2011 .


Dario Dubolino is a Policy Officer in the aquaculture team of the European Commission's DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE). Before joining DG MARE in 2012, he worked as a project officer in the European Commission's Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation, managing projects for the promotion of renewable energy under the Intelligent Energy Europe programme. Dario holds a Degree in International Relations from the University of Genoa, Italy.

Isabelle Dupont-Morral

Isabelle Dupont Morral holds a doctorate in marine microbiology from the University of Caen specialized in biocorrosion. She does a PhD to conduct research in cathodic protection of metallic materials in seawater. She was director of a corrosion research laboratory: Corrodys for 10 years. She has become a specialist in European research projects. Since 9 years she has been in charge of the fisheries and aquaculture department of the Normandy Council. Promoting innovation in aquaculture and fisheries is a major area of development.

Michael Earle

As adviser on fisheries to "The Greens/European Free Alliance", a political group in the European Parliament. Michael has participated in the evolution of the Common Fisheries Policy since the early 1990s, delving into aspects as varied as subsidies, control, management objectives and the external policy.

Pierre Erwes

Pierre Erwes is an oceanographer with later specialization in IT and marketing. He is an entrepreneur who has over thirty years of international experience, primarily in the areas of marine bio resources and new technologies. He is currently involved in creating a large international venture capital fund for the Blue Bio Economy.

Pierre exercised managerial responsibilities at several companies and international groups. From 2005 to 2008, he worked at the scientific foundation of Lyon, which supported the development of innovative projects, as well as in the organization the world life Sciences forum, BioSquare, and BioMarine. Given the success of BioMarine, it was decided in 2008, that Pierre Erwes, founder of the event and owner of the trademark, would develop it independently as an international platform dedicated to marine bio-resources and related innovation, investment and international partnerships.

BioMarine was complemented in 2013 by the launch of the BioMarine International cluster’s association to foster new direct business opportunities based on interregional collaboration, in May 2016 by the launch of BlueForward, a Venture Capital fund that will invest in innovative European SMEs and sustainable solutions in aquaculture, fisheries, algae farming, new maritime and water technologies, etc., and in September 2016 by the launch of BlueGen a French non-profit organization created to establish the first international trans-sectoral blue business, employment and education platform.

Ioannis Firbas

Ioannis FIRBAS is an Economist with postgraduate studies in UK. He is currently the Director General for the National Coordination Authority for European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) at the Ministry of Economy and Development in Greece. He is also a National Coordinator for the macroregional strategy for Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR). Over the last 25 years from his various ESIF-related positions, he followed national and international developments and policies in regional policy and local development, economic, social and territorial cohesion and sustainable development, and developments in the OECD and other international organizations. He has monitored processes, made proposals and negotiated issues regarding structural funds regulations and the EU financial perspectives. He has coordinated the drafting of several strategic regional development plans, the development and negotiations with the European Commission of various operational programmes. Prepared and conducted ex-ante and on-going evaluations


Katia Frangoudes holds a PhD in Political Sciences from the University of Paris VIII. She is senior researcher at the AMURE-Center for Law and Economics of the Sea at the Université de Bretagne Occidentale. Her research fields are range from gender equality in fisheries and aquaculture in EU, to governance issues in fisheries and aquaculture and social acceptability of aquaculture in Europe. She is leading the Working Group on Gendered Seas of the EU Cost Action Ocean Past Platform (OPP) and the Women Gender Cluster of Too Big to Ignore (TBTI) network. She is acting as facilitator of the European Network AKTEA regrouping women’s organizations in fisheries and aquaculture.

Elisabeth Freytag-Rigler

Elisabeth Maria Freytag-Rigler is the Director for EU-affairs in the Austrian Ministry for Agriculture and Forestry, where she is responsible for Environment and Water Management and since 2014 for fisheries. She is also the Co-chair of the European Sustainable Development Network, since 2003, having served for some 10 years as Chair and Vice Chair of the Management Board of the European Environment Agency. Previously she worked on the EU-coordination, the preparations for and coordination of the Austrian EU-Presidencies in the fields of environment and youth (1998), environment (2006) and environment and fisheries (2018). She also worked on EU enlargement, and the integration of environment and sustainable development issues into other policies.
She holds a Master Degree from the Economic University, Vienna, and gained experience in the private industry as Assistant Export Manager in an Austrian company producing crystal glass before joining the Austrian Ministry for the Environment.


Javier Garat is the Secretary General of the Spanish Fishing Confederation, the President of the Association of National Organizations of Fishing Enterprises in the European Union, the President of the European Fisheries Technology Platform (EFTP) and the Chairman of the International Coalition of Fisheries Associations. Furthermore, he is Fishery Advisor of the International Sustainability Unit´s Marine Programme of HRH The Prince of Wales and member of the board of directors of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation. He has been dealing with fisheries for almost 20 years, defending the interest of responsible fishing ship owners around the world. He holds a degree in Law and Graduate in European Law by the Complutense University of Madrid (CEU San Pablo) and Master’s Degree in International and European Law by the Catholic University of Leuven (U.C.L. Belgium).


Isabelle Garzon is the Head of the Unit in the Commission's General-Directorate for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) responsible for the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund in 15 Member States of the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, since 2011. Between 2005 and 2011, she was Deputy Head of Unit and then Head of Unit, successively responsible for negotiating the multi-annual financial framework 2007-2013 for the Financial Instrument for Development Cooperation, coordination of trade and regional integration questions and the coordination of development aid (European Development Fund and budgetary programs) and the rules governing it (Cotonou Agreement, financial regulations).In 2004-2005, she was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Berkeley, California, USA where she participated in a research project at UC Berkeley University comparing American and European agri-environmental policies which resulted in the publication of "Reforming the CAP - History of a paradigm change" (Basingstoke, Palgrave MacMillan, 2006).Between 1999 and 2004, she was Member of the Office of Pascal Lamy, then Commissioner for Trade, European Commission. Agriculture, Health and Consumer Protection, Regional Policy, Fisheries, Justice and Home Affairs, Environment, Employment, Latin America, Balkans and Enlargement.Between 1994 and 1999, she worked in DG REGIO, drafting and negotiating of the Regulation on the Structural Funds and the European Regional Development Fund for the period 2000-2006. Isabelle is a political scientist by training, with some 23 years of experience at the Commission.

Evangelia Georgitsi

Evangelia Georgitsi is Team Leader for the Common Fisheries Policy in the Unit for policy development and coordination of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and of its structural support in the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) of the European Commission. She joined the Commission and DG MARE in 2013 where she successively held several positions of policy officer, legal officer and policy coordinator. Before joining the Commission, Evangelia was leading the comparative law team of the Legal Service of the French Council of State. She has also worked as a lawyer in the Athens bar for more than ten years and as a University lecturer and researcher in France and Austria. Evangelia studied law in the Faculty of Law of the University of Athens and Mathematical Logic and Philosophy of Sciences in the University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. She also holds a Masters' Degree in Comparative Public Law of European States from the University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne.

Benoît Guerin

Benoît Guerin is a consultant and fishing skipper practicing small scale coastal fishing in the French Eastern Mediterranean (Var region) since 2014. Previously he was Secretary General of the Advisory Council for Southern Western Waters (AC South), advising the European Commission on the management of fisheries in that sea basin for seven years. He was thus involved in development of the long-term management plan for the Bay of Biscay anchovy and of the operating rules for the sole fishery. He also coordinated the Interreg GEPETO project which aimed to involve fisheries professionals in the development of fisheries management plans, both for large-scale (Bay of Biscay, Iberian Seas and Celtic Sea ) and for small-scale fisheries (Ria do Aveiro in Portugal, octopus fishing in Galicia, exploitation of the coastal zone in the Basque Country). Before that, he was in charge of the sustainable fisheries program of WWF France and participated to the development of a fisheries co-management scheme eventually supported by the fisheries sector and NGOs in the framework of a national framework agreement ("Grenelle de l'environnement").

Timo Halonen

Timo Halonen has over 15 years’ of experience from the Finnish administration, especially from the fisheries structural policy. At the moment Timo is working in the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry as a senior officer. In the ministry he is responsible for the Finnish EMFF national operational programme 2014-2020 and for the Government’s Blue Bioeconomy spearhead project. He is also partly working in the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (Tekes) where he is working with Arctic Sea programme as well as bioeconomy and cleantech strategy.

Paschal Hayes

Paschal Hayes is a senior manager in the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine and head of the Irish Managing Authority for the EMFF. His role is to facilitate the sustainable development of the Irish seafood sector. Key actions to facilitate this are delivery of the EMFF Operational Programme, management of inshore fisheries to achieve Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) and environmental targets. He has policy responsibility for aquaculture and also leads a project to redevelop the marine computer systems to cater for requirements under the CFP. Paschal’s previous responsibilities include management of Ireland’s Fishing Fleet Register, management of the State owned Fishery Harbour Centres, corporate governance of the marine agencies (An Bord Iascaigh Mhara, the Marine Institute and the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority) and Blue Growth.
He has worked in the Marine area for the last 11 years but he is a career civil servant and served in a number of other departments of the Irish Government including the role of Information Technology Manager with the Central Statistics Office immediately prior to his move into marine and various roles with the Irish Department of Social Welfare.
He holds a diploma and a BSc in Information Technology and is currently undertaking a Masters Degree in Government and Public Policy.


Pierre HEBERT holds a post-graduate degree in political science and a post-graduate degree in political economy. He has worked for various responsibilities at the Ministry of Agriculture (Directorate of Financial Affairs , Decentralized services, Overseas regions) before joining the fisheries and Aquaculture Directorate. He is currently the head of the structural policy unit and head of the managing authority of the European Fisheries Fund and of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. He is also responsible for State aid at the Director of Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture. He has participated in several twinning projects for the implementation of European Fisheries Funds.

Anne Jacobs-Schleithoff

Anne Jacobs-Schleithoff has headed the Division for the Maritime Industry and the Office of the Federal Government Coordinator of the Maritime Industry in the Directorate-General for Industrial Policy of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy since August 2016. Prior to this, she worked in the Directorate-General for External Economic Policy, and was responsible for trade and economic policy relations with the NAFTA countries, and particularly the free trade agreements between the EU and the U.S. (TTIP), Canada (CETA) and Mexico.

Pierre Karleskind

Pierre Karleskind is currently Vice President of the Regional Council of Brittany with special responsibilities for the sea and maritime infrastructure, Vice President of Brest Metropole, in charge of higher education and research and President of the Brest Iroise Technopole. His professional experience includes a 6 year assignment as engineer of science and maritime technology in Altran Ouest corporation and various short terms assignments in the French navy and at the marine biology and oceanography research and teaching center in Roscoff.

He graduated from Ecole Polytechnique and ENSTA (Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Techniques Avancées) and holds a Doctorate in Oceanography from the European University Institute of the Sea at the University of Western Brittany, Brest.

Keith Kelleher

Keith Kelleher is a senior executive with Ireland’s EMFF Managing Authority. Keith has specialised in implementing development programmes for the seafood sector for 10 years. Keith holds a Masters Degree in Public Management and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Information Technology.

Eduard Koitmaa

Eduard Koitmaa was born and educated in Estonia. He obtained his master degree from the Estonian University of Life Sciences. Additionally, he acquired knowledge about organic farming from University Of Kassel, Germany. He launched his career at the Estonian Ministry of Rural Affairs in 2010 as an chief specialist of food surveillance. In the end of the 2012 he became member of fisheries division. Since then, Mr Koitmaa has worked on several areas which are related with managing authority of European Fisheries Fund (EFF) and European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). He is responsible for multiannual national plans, aquaculture development and also he is one of the leading experts for setting up a 2014-2020 financial instruments for the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).

Sérgio Leandro

Sérgio Leandro is Deputy Director of the School of Tourism and Maritime Technology (Peniche) – Polytechnic Institute of Leiria- Portugal (IPLeiria), a Portuguese public institution of Higher Education. The mission of this institution is the education and training, the knowledge transference to support Enterprises and enable startup with focus on marine resources. Sérgio Leandro is also responsible for several research projects aiming at add value to marine resources and new forms of food education for responsible fish consumption. He is co-founder and co-mentor of the Aquatropolis Academy, that aims to build digital capacities on future aquaculture's professionals towards the implementation of Industry 4.0 in the sector. He is a biologist by training, with a PhD on Marine Biology from University of Aveiro.

João Aguiar Machado

João Aguiar Machado is the Director General of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE). He is thus in charge of implementing the new Common Fisheries Policy and to secure sustainable fisheries, a stable supply of seafood for EU market and also prosperous coastal communities. As the DG in charge of Maritime Policy, his mission is also to promote an integrated approach to all maritime policies. Before taking up his current position, João Aguiar Machado was Director General at the European Commission's Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport. He was responsible for developing transport policies for the European Union, integrating citizen's needs, environmental policy and competitiveness. Previously, he was Deputy Director General at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Trade. He was responsible for bilateral trade relations with Asia, Latin America and Africa, including many of the EU’s free trade negotiations, and for trade in services, investment, intellectual property and public procurement. From September 2007 to December 2008 he was Deputy Director-General at the EC’s Directorate-General for External Relations – where he was in charge of coordinating overall EU relations with Asia and Latin America. He thus spent most of his career working on trade matters in Brussels and in EC Delegations in both Tokyo, Japan (1989 – 1994), and Geneva, Switzerland (WTO, 1994 – 1998). João Aguiar Machado studied economics both in Lisbon and at the College of Europe in Bruges.


Luca Margoni is Team-leader for Sea Basin Strategies at the Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Commission (DG MARE). Over the last few years, he has been involved in the establishment of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian Region (EUSAIR), the development of the BLUEMED Initiative (Strategic marine Research and Innovation Agenda), the intergovernmental dialogue on the Blue Economy in the Mediterranean including through cooperation with the Union for the Mediterranean and more recently in the adoption of a sea basin initiative for the western Mediterranean (WestMED Initiative).

In his previous positions at the European Commission he has been coordinator for Private Sector Development Policy in Developing Countries (Directorate General for Development and Cooperation) and coordinator for Cohesion Policy in Northern and Central Italy (Directorate General for Regional Policy). Before joining the European Commission he was an official of the Region Emilia-Romagna responsible mainly for actions co-funded by the European Structural Funds, notably rural and local development policies.

Gesine Meissner

Gesine Meißner has been member of the European Parliament since 2009. She is member of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) in Germany, which is part of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE). She is member of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN), substitute member of both the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) and the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). Mrs Meißner is also a member of the EU-Mexico Delegation and the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly (Eurolat). Furthermore, she is president of the European Parliament Intergroup for Seas, Rivers, Islands and Coastal Areas (SEARICA) and federal deputy chair of the Liberal Women's Association in Germany.

Before joining the European Parliament, Gesine Meißner was a member of the regional Parliament of Lower Saxony where she was chairing the Committee on Health and Social Affairs from 2003 to 2009. She also worked as a freelance communication trainer and was deputy director of the "Rural Adult Education Lower Saxony" association.


Mariana Munteanu is the President of the Romanian Fisheries' Organisation, which is an officially recognised producer organisation representing the interests of aquaculture producers in Romania. She is also one of the Vice-Presidents of PRO AGRO, the Romanian National Federation of Producers in the Agriculture, Food Industry and Related Services. She has more than 20 years’ experience in the aquaculture and fisheries sector, including 12 years in the public sector. Mrs Munteanu was also one of the experts who drafted the EMFF Operational Programme for Romania’ for 2014-2020. She graduated from University “Dunarea de Jos” in Romania with a science degree in aquaculture, and holds a Master’s degree in project management for rural and regional development from the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies.

Arantza Murillas Maza

Arrantza holds a PhD in Economic Analysis and Public Economy from the University of the Basque Country. She worked for three years (2000-2003) in the Department of Applied Economics at the University of Vigo, Spain and since since 2004 is working in the marine research division of AZTI working on more than 20 European projects (ELME, COMMIT, EFIMAS, VANE, CEVIS, OCIPESCA, MADE, MARNET, PRESPO, SOCIOEC, DEVOTES, AQUASPACE) in the field of marine socio-economics. She deals with such issues as natural resources valuation, impact economic assessment, price formation, markets, fisheries management, maritime economy, and fisheries governance. Currently, she is coordinating a pilot project to enhance small-scale fishing sector´s participation in decision-making in the South-western waters of the EU. She has authored more than 30 publications, including international peer-reviewed journals and some book chapters and has given over 40 oral presentations in international conferences.

Egidijus Narevicius

Egidijus Narevicius is currently the acting chairman of Šilutė FLAG (since 2009)and the acting chairman of an International association of scientists and experts (since 2010). He is also responsible for implementing the project “Development of Co-operation of Small-Scale Fisheries Sector of the Baltic Sea Region by Applying the Exchange of Good Practice During Educational Meetings and Virtual Information Database Establishment Methods”. He graduated from Kretinga vocational school of agriculture and Mykolas Romeris University and in 1999. He then became the chairman of “Skirvytėlė” fishermen club. In 2013-2015, he was the Project Manager of “Pasienio žuvys” and in 2013-2014, he helped to organize learning material on the subject of fishery, such as “Fish diseases”, “Fishing inventory” and “closed recirculating systems”. He also participated in an international project on Sustainable and Holistic Approaches to Development in European Seaboards“ (SHADES).


Frangiskos Nikolian is Head of the Unit responsible for Economic Analysis, Markets and Impact Assessment in the Commission General-directorate for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE). Frangiscos joined the Commission and the then newly created Fisheries General Directorate in 1984 where he successively held positions as project manager, ex-post auditor and Head of Sector of ex-post audit. In 2011 he moved to DG REGIO as Deputy Head of Unit in the Coordination Unit of the Audit Directorate. Eventually he re-joined DG MARE in 2013 first as Head of Unit dealing with the implementation of EFF/EMFF in Italy, Malta, Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Cyprus and Croatia, and later as Head of the Unit responsible for Structural Policy and Economic Analysis. He has a degree in Information Technologies.

Ruth Nugent

Ruth Nugent joined DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries in May this year. She is the contact point in the DG on CLLD and works in close collaboration with the FARNET Support Unit. Ruth’s tasks also include financial aspects of the EMFF and FI Compass. Before joining DG MARE she was as a desk officer for the UK unit in DG Regional and Urban Policy.

Javier OJEDA

Javier Ojeda is the General Secretary of the Spanish Aquaculture Association (APROMAR), member of the Spanish Economic and Social Council and Secretary of the Spanish Technology Platform for Fisheries and Aquaculture. From these positions, he works at a national level with public authorities, policy makers, trade unions, media, environmentalists and researchers promoting responsible aquaculture. He is also heavily involved at international level with the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Federation of European Aquaculture Producers, FAO, IUCN and other relevant organisations. Javier is Chair of the Fish Working Group of the Aquaculture Advisory Council (AAC) and aquaculture expert for the European Economic and Social Committee.

Ole Lundberg Larsen

Ole Lundberg Larsen is the Head of the Department for Advisory and Politics, at the Danish Fishermen Producer Organisation (PO). He is member of the Monitoring Committee for the EMFF in Denmark as well as member of the Committee for Commercial Fisheries which includes representatives from the fishing trade and industry to give advice to Danish authorities on fisheries regulation and other issues relevant for fisheries, in particular with start-up support for young fishermen, health and safety, advisory services and other issues related to the implementation of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. Ole holds a Political Science from the University of Aarhus and was lecturer at the Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics from 1994-1997 (part-time). He has been working on different vessel modernization schemes and participated in the implementation of the “fuel Package” in Denmark.

Giuseppe PALMA

Giuseppe Palma graduated in Veterinary Medicine and focused his postgraduate studies on Food Safety, Traceability and Technological Development of Seafood. He was the director of one of the most important wholesale fish markets in Italy. For many years he has been engaged, in collaboration with many universities, on studies and research in the fish industry. He participated in numerous working groups at the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture. He has been working for Assoittica Italia (National Association of Seafood Companies) since 2001, as Head of Food Safety and since 2013 as Secretary General. He has been engaged in numerous studies for the development of new products, focusing on.


Guus Pastoor is the elected chairman of the board of AIPCE, the European Federation of Fish Processors which connects the different national organizations for fish processors all over the EU, and represents the fish processing and trading companies in Brussels. Together with the other members of the board and the secretariat his work is aimed at providing advice to the EU institutions and at facilitating the dialogue with a broad variety of stakeholders. He is member of the board of several organizations and chairman of the Market Advisory Council and the General Assembly of the North Sea Advisory Council. At the national level he chairs the Dutch Fish Federation (Visfederatie), the representative organization for fish processors and traders in the Netherlands. He also chairs the Inter Branche Organization for Brown Shrimp, and is vice-chair of the Dutch Fish Marketing Board. Born in Rotterdam, he graduated at Rotterdam’s Erasmus University with a degree in business and fiscal economics. Prior to his work of over 20 years in the fish sector, he has he worked as a manager and business consultant in the dairy industry as a business consultant in the logistic sector though he started his career in the field of education.

Anastasios M. PERIMENIS

Anastasios M. Perimenis is financial Analyst with BSc and an MSc in Business Finance. He has been the Manager of ETAL S.A. since 2000. ETAL S.A. is a private sector development company, founded in 1992 by the Local Communities - Municipality of the island Lesvos, the Agricultural Association and the Chamber of Commerce operating in both local and regional level. ETAL S.A, managing locally LEADER since its inception. As a Local Action Group in Rural and Fisheries areas the Company has managed many programmes on Local Development under a consistent Local Development Strategy including many stakeholders. He is responsible at a local and regional Level for planning and implementing the Local Development Strategy that promotes the vision of ETAL which is to establish a tailor-made, sustainable model of development for Lesvos based on social capital, the islands' natural and cultural resources, identity and its capacity.

Tiina Perho

Tiina Perho is Member of the City Board of Loimaa and Board Member of the Regional Council of Southwest Finland. The Regional Council represents the 27 municipalities of Southwest Finland. It functions as an authority for regional development, responsible for planning and promoting regional interests, in our region.

She has also been the Chair of the Maritime Working Group of the CPMR Baltic Sea Commission Since the beginning of 2016. Previously she worked for six years in Brussels and Strasbourg as a Political Assistant to a Member of the European Parliament with whom she worked in the Baltic Sea Intergroup. She was involved in writing the basis of the EU Baltic Sea Strategy, as well as preparing the strategy’s own budget, and now works on implementing the strategy’s targets.

Currently Tiina works in the Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK) as a Special Advisor to the Board where she deals with agricultural questions and addresses environmental issues in order to improve the state of the Baltic Sea.

Marina Petrou

Marina Petrou is the Director General for Sustainable Fisheries of the Hellenic Ministry of Rural Development and Food since early 2012. Her responsibilities include the coordination of marine and inland fisheries, intensive and extensive aquaculture, of the monitoring and control of fishery activities and products under the Single Control Authority of Art 5 of EU Regulation 1224/2009. She is also heading the administrative unit responsible for the implementation of the fisheries and aquaculture national data collection programme. Marina graduated from the Department of Biology at the University of Athens with a BSC and an M.Sc. Degree in Biological Oceanography. Her professional experience is in marine fisheries, aquaculture, the processing of fishery products and aquatic environment management, until she joined the Ministry of Rural Development and Food in 1980.

Olavi Petron

Olavi Petron has served as Deputy Secretary General for Fisheries Policy and Foreign Affairs since early 2013. He manages the Fishery Economics Department, the Foreign Relations Department and the European Union Affairs Department. From 2007- 2012 he served as Director of the Agriculture Division in the Permanent Representation of Estonia to the EU. Born in the City of Pärnu in 1976, he graduated from the University of Tartu in public administration in 2000 and started working in the Ministry of Agriculture (now the Ministry of Rural Affairs) in 1998 .

José Ignacio Pradas Poveda

Graduated in the Polytechnical University of Madrid as MSc in Industrial Engineering in 1990, José Ignacio has worked first for the Spanish Institute of Foreign Trade before joining Spain’s Corp of Industrial Engineers and starting to work for the Ministry of Industry and Energy at the bureau of studies in 1994. Later on José Ignacio was promoted to the International Relations department as responsible for bilateral and multilateral industrial relations, including the preparation of Minister’s dossier for the meetings of the European Council (Research) until 2002.

During five years he was posted in Moscow (Russia) as Spanish attaché for industry and technology affairs. Then he joined the Spanish National Association of Manufacturers of Capital Goods SERCOBE, the Spanish reference for the engineering industries, being the head of the internal market department (i.e. finance and structural funds, R&D and innovation projects and take-up of Spanish technology platform for advanced manufacturing, follow-up of regulations, standardization, trade) until 2015. Since then he returned to the Spanish government to work for the cabinet of the secretary general for Science and Innovation with the task of coordinating the innovation programmes. In September 2017 he joined the secretariat general for Fisheries as deputy director general for Structural Fisheries Policies with the goal to implement an EMFF financial instrument.


Rosa Quintana Carballo holds a Degree and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain). She began her career in 1987 for the Galician Regional Ministry for Fisheries and Aquaculture, where she held several positions as Head of Division and Director, namely for innovation and fishing development. As an EU fishery expert, she participated in various seminars about the food legislation for fishery and aquaculture products. In 2009, she was designated Regional Minister for Maritime Affairs of the Xunta de Galicia. She has also published a number of articles related to fishery and aquaculture. From 2012 to 2015 she served as Regional Minister for Maritime Affairs and for Rural Development, returning to be appointed Regional Minister for Maritime Affairs in October 2015.

Marta Rabczynska- Kapcinska

Marta Rabczyńska-Kapcińska is Deputy Director of the Fisheries Department in the Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation in Poland. Marta is a graduate of the Faculty of Law at Białystok’s University, specialised in International Law and will soon defend her Ph.D. thesis on Environment Protection within the Common Fisheries Policy of the EU. She has 10 years of experience in fisheries administration, mainly in the administration of EU funds. She is responsible for coordinating the implementation of the EFF and EMFF operational programmes (OPs) in Poland, for preparing amendments to these OPs, as well as attending their negotiations with the EC, and supervising the process of designing the entire range of national legal provisions necessary for the implementation of these OPs.

Agnė Razmislavičiūtė-Palionienė

Agnė Razmislavičiūtė - Palionienė is now a leading expert on Maritime and Fisheries affairs at the Ministry of Agriculture of Lithuania. She has 13 years of experience of working in Fisheries administration, including 4 years of representing Lithuania’s interests in the EU. Agnė is an experienced moderator and negotiator at national, regional and EU-level discussions; she was chairing the EU Council’s Fisheries working groups and co-chairing the EMFF and multiannual management plans negotiations with the European Parliament and the European Commission on behalf of the EU Council in 2013.

Riccardo Rigillo Pemac

Riccardo Rigillo is currently Director general for Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture at the Italian Ministry of Agriculture in Rome. He is also the Head of the Italian Managing Authority for the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

As a Counselor for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs he has coordinated the Italian position during the EU negotiations for the New Common Fishery Policy, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and the Integrated Maritime Policy in Brussels. In his career, he has been working in fishery and aquaculture, for more than twelve years. He is also an expert in Environmental Economics, which he has taught as visiting professor at the University of Rome - Tor Vergata. His academic backgroung is in Economics, Administrative and Constitutional law; International relations and Strategic Studies.

Susana Rodriguez Carballo

Susana Rodríguez Carballo, Director General of Fisheries Development. She was born in Orense in 1965. She holds a degree in Biology, specializing in Zoology, from the University of Santiago de Compostela and has doctoral courses in the Third Cycle Program in Marine Biology and Aquaculture, which belongs to the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC). He holds a Master's Degree in Fisheries Economics, Department of Applied Economics, USC. 1996. She joined public administration of the Xunta de Galicia, Fisheries Extension Agents scale. From 1998 to 2005. She was the Head of Service of the Shellfish Department, Directorate of Marine Resources, Regional Ministry of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs of the Xunta de Galicia. From 27/02/2006 to 01/08/2007. Head of the Administrative Management Service, Directorate General of Marine Resources. 2009. Civil servant of the Xunta de Galicia, biologists scale. Since 2009 she is General Director of the Fisheries Development Department of the Xunta de Galicia.


Elisa Roller is the Head of Unit for policy development and coordination of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and of its structural support in the Director-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG Mare) of the European Commission. Before that she held a couple of Head of Unit positions in that same DG and was Deputy Head of Unit for Conception, Forward Studies and Impact Assessment in the Directorate-General for Regional Policy. She has also been Policy Coordinator in the Lisbon Task Force of the Secretariat-General, European Commission. Before joining the European Commission in 2003, she was a Lecturer in European Politics in the Department of Government at the University of Manchester, UK. She received her PhD in the London School of Economics.


Marcin Ruciński is in charge of strengthening small-scale fisheries organisations in the Baltic and North Sea Regions in the framework of the pilot project, implemented by the Low Impact Fishers of Europe (LIFE) organisation to involve small-scale fishers into the decision-making processes of the Common Fisheries Policy.

Marcin has an educational background in International Relations and some fifteen years of experience in the fisheries sector, ten of which were spent in Brussels as Fisheries Attaché for Poland. His experience includes a post of Deputy Director of the Fisheries Department of Poland, chairing the Fisheries Working Party of EU Council during the Polish Presidency in 2011, chairing the HELCOM Working Group for Sustainable and Ecosystem-Based Fisheries, and chairing the BALTFISH meetings under Polish presidency.

Conceição SANTOS

Conceição Santos is the Head of the Strategy Department, in the Directorate General for Maritime Policy, under the Portuguese Ministry of Sea. She is the Portuguese representative in the European Integrated Maritime Policy and the EU Atlantic Strategy and its Action Plan groups. She has coordinated reports for the European Commission in the context of Marine Strategy Framework Directive. She is also the Portuguese representative in several international groups dealing with marine and maritime socio economics issues. Her professional functions include the support of National Ocean Strategy implementation and strategic monitoring and the support to the national coordination of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.


Angelos Sanopoulos is currently Team Leader of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Monitoring and Evaluation (FAME) Support Unit of the European Commission's General Directorate for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE). The aim of FAME is to foster the development of the Common Monitoring and Evaluation System (CMES) of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) . Angelos has 18 years of experience in EU-funded programmes and the provision of technical assistance in the programming cycle, strategic environmental assessment and proposal evaluation in a broad array of thematic fields. He has been involved in projects dealing with Monitoring and Evaluation for various interventions like the Cohesion Fund, EAFRD, EMFF, ERDF, ESF, ETC, IPA and PHARE.He has worked as consultant for various services of the European Commission, the UNDP, the World Bank/IFC, bilateral donors, and national governments mainly with projects addressing regional development, environmental protection, climate change and related multidisciplinary issues. Angelos holds a Master of Science in Urban and Regional Planning, a Master of Science in Geo-Information Systems and Science, and a Master of Science in Environmental Infrastructure Planning. Currently he is enrolled in a Master of Science on Environmental and Bio-resources Management. He is also Lecturer at the Vienna University of Technology for the Course “Systemic Impact Assessment and Evaluation”.


Simone Serra is an expert biologist in the fields of Fisheries and Aquaculture. He has worked for 20 years in the fields of research, data collection and policies relevant to fisheries, aquaculture and marine environment and related aspects. He has an experience on field research, project management, stakeholders' involvement at National and European level. He is a consultant of Unimar, an Italian research private institute.

Christoph STRANSKY

Christoph Stransky is Deputy Director of the Thünen Institute of Sea Fisheries, Hamburg/Germany, and National Correspondent within the EU Data Collection Framework (DCF). He holds a M.Sc. in Marine & Fisheries Science (University of Aberdeen, Scotland) and a Ph.D. in Natural Sciences (University of Hamburg, Germany). After working on redfish (Sebastes spp.) in the North Atlantic, in particular age validation, stock identification and stock assessment (including ICES, NAFO and NEAFC working groups), he has been working on Fisheries Data Collection since 2004. Dr. Stransky is a Member of the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) since 2007 within which he has chaired various expert groups on data collection. Apart from his advisory work for the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the European Commission, his main interests are to strengthen regional coordination of sampling programmes, to improve the dialogue between data collectors and data users and to use the EMFF funding for data collection in a cost-efficient way to maintain and enhance fisheries data collection to inform fisheries management.


Haitze Siemers is Head of Unit for Innovation, Research and Investment in the Directorate-Gener al for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries in the European Commission. With a background in Japanese studies and economic affairs, his career includes work in the private sector, international relations and trade policy and work with consumers and civil society.
His work on Maritime Affairs and Blue Growth started in 2005, and has covered the launch of Europe’s maritime policy, the adoption of EU legislation on maritime spatial planning, and the adoption of the recent Communication on International Ocean Governance.


Rashid Sumaila is Professor and Director at the , Fisheries Economics Research Unit & the OceanCanada Partnership at the University of British Columbia. He specializes in bioeconomics, marine ecosystem valuation and the analysis of global issues such as fisheries subsidies, illegal fishing, climate change and oil spills. He has authored over 215 journal articles; including in Science, Nature and the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. He is the winner of the 2017 Benchley Oceans Award in Science; 2016 UBC Killam Research Prize; 2013 American Fisheries Society Excellence in Public Outreach Award; 2009 Stanford Leopold Leadership Fellowship and 2008 Pew Marine Fellowship. Sumaila was named a Hokkaido University Ambassador in 2016. He has given talks at the UN Rio+20, the WTO, the White House, the Canadian Parliament, the African Union and the British House of Lords.

Flaminia TACCONI

Flaminia Tacconi graduated in 2002 at the Université de Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and Universität zu Köln in French and German Law with a particular focus on European and International Law. In 2003, she obtained an LL.M. in European Law at the College of Europe, Bruges. From 2007 till 2013, she worked for 6 years at the European Commission, in particular in DG MARE, covering the subsidies aspects of the Common Fisheries Policy. For the last 4 years, Flaminia has been working as EU Fisheries Lawyer at ClientEarth on the implementation of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy.

Tarmo Tamm

Tarmo Tamm is an Estonian politician from the Estonian Centre Party. He was trained as a mechanical technician and an agrarian economist and worked as manager of Põlva Agro until 1993 when he first served as Mayor of Põlva Municipality until 2011. From 1999-2013 he acted as a member of the Põlva City Council and from 1991-1999, as a member of the Põlva Rural Municipality. He was a member of the 12th Riigkogu as Vice-Chairman of the Constitutional Committee during the 2014-2015 period, and a member of the 13th Riigikogu as Vice-Chairman of the Finance Committee, during the 2015-2016 period. He has been the Minister of Rural Affairs of the Republic of Estonia since late 2016.

Torsten THIELE

Torsten Thiele is a Visiting Fellow at the LSE Institute of Global Affairs where he leads the Blue Finance initiative, and is Founder of Global Ocean Trust. Torsten sits on the Engagement Boards of the EU SenseOcean and AtlantOS projects and is a member of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas. He consults widely with public, private and civil society organisations on ocean matters. Torsten is a project finance expert with over 20 years in banking. Torsten holds graduate degrees in law and in economics from Bonn University, an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School and an MPhil in Conservation Leadership from the University of Cambridge. He was Advanced Leadership Fellow at Harvard University in 2014.


Clara Ulrich is Professor in Fisheries Management at DTU Aqua (DK). She is also the International Coordinator of the EU H2020 DiscardLess project (2015-2019) and the Chair of the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries of the European Commission (STECF). She has been working on fisheries management issues for more than 15 years, producing more than 40 peer-reviewed publications in the field of mixed fisheries, discards, management strategies evaluation, fleet dynamics and stock assessment. She is a scientific advisor for fisheries, both at national and international level, with a major involvement in the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), including the chairing of the Working Group for the assessment of demersal stocks in the North Sea and Skagerrak (WGNSSK) and the development of the mixed-fisheries advice. She is also involved in a number of science-industry partnerships.

Gilles van de Walle

Gilles van de Walle is the Team Leader of FARNET Support Unit, the technical assistance team to the Commission's Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE), responsible for facilitating the implementation of the Community Led Local Development (CLLD) approach of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). CLLD continues the area-based approach initiated by Axis 4 of theEuropean Fisheries Fund (EFF) and brings additional and innovative opportunities that will enable local communities to scale up the effects of the 10.000+ projects supported between 2007 and 2014.

Gilles is a fisheries and aquaculture economist by training with 15 years of extensive and diverse professional experience in fisheries and aquaculture, including hands on experience both on commercial fishing boats and in fish farms.

Karmenu Vella

Karmenu Vella is the European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries at the European Commission. Earlier in his career, he was Minister for Tourism and Aviation, Minister for Public Works, Coordinator of the Maltese Labour Party parliamentary group -between 2008 and 2013-, and a Member of the Maltese Parliament from 1976 to 2014. He was born in Zurrieq (Malta) in 1950 and obtained a Degree in Architecture and Civil Engineering in 1973 from the Royal University of Malta, he was later awarded a Master of Science in Tourism from the Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom).


Veronika Veits is Director in the European Commission, Director General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE), responsible for the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), Mediterranean and Black Sea. The mission of her Directorate encompasses not only the implementation of the CFP in the Mediterranean and Black Sea but also the development and coordination of the Common Fisheries Policy in all its aspects, including its control and funding system (i.e. currently the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF)). In her previous positions as Head of Unit in DG MARE, Veronika Veits dealt successively with the implementation of the fisheries structural policy first in Nordic and landlocked Member States and later in Atlantic Member States as well as with the EU’s data collection framework and last with international relations, the Law of the Sea and Regional Fisheries. Her work in DG MARE was preceded by 10 years in Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development covering many different areas from rural development, over enlargement negotiations to the management of different markets, such as sugar or cereals. Before that she worked for the Austrian Ministry for Agriculture after having finished her studies in languages and agriculture.

Monika Verbeek

Dr Monica Verbeek is the executive director of Seas At Risk, the Brussels-based umbrella organisation of environmental NGOs from across Europe that promotes ambitious policies for marine protection at European and international level. The member NGOs of Seas At Risk represent millions of EU citizens that care deeply about our seas and oceans. Monica Verbeek also serves as steering group member for the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition and until recently as vice president of the South Western Waters Regional Advisory Council for fisheries. Before joining Seas At Risk, she worked as an independent marine environmental consultant, and as a campaign coordinator for Greenpeace Netherlands. During her extensive experience with marine environmental campaigns, stretching back to the early 1990s, Monica Verbeek was successful in pushing for marine environmental protection policy decisions at national, European, regional (North East Atlantic) and UN level. Monica Verbeek was trained as a biologist and worked as a researcher; she holds a Master’s degree in biology and a PhD degree in behavioural ecology from the Wageningen University in the Netherlands.


Jean-Pierre is a policy officer in DG MARE. Since 2009, he worked in the Coordination Unit in charge of the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) and then the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). He has been in charge of fostering Community-Led Local Development (CLLD) in the framework of "Axis 4" of the EFF and is now responsible for the development and implementation of the Common Monitoring and Evaluation System attached to the EMFF.

Before joining the Commission, Jean-Pierre worked 15 years for the European Association for Information on Local Development, where he led different tasks related to local development - then becoming Deputy Director of the LEADER Observatory -, evaluation of rural development, communication of the LIFE programme and active citizenship.

Jean-Pierre was trained in communication science in Brussels University.


David Vivas is Legal Officer, at the Trade, Environment, Climate Change and Sustainable Development Branch, DITC at UNCTAD. He has more than 20 years of experience on legal and economic issues including on international trade law and environmental law, oceans economy, fish trade, biodiversity, intellectual property, and transfer of technology. He holds an Attorney-at-Law degree from the Universidad Católica Andres Bello, Venezuela, a L.L.M. on International Trade Law from Georgetown University, and a Master degree on Transnational Business from Universidad Externado, Colombia. He has lectured on trade, intellectual property and environmental law at the University of Strasbourg (France), Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina), Universidad Javeriana(Colombia), Maastricht University (the Netherlands), WIPO Distant Learning Academy, and University of Business and International Studies (Switzerland).


Marija Vučković is State Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Croatia. She is an economist by training, with 19 years of experience in maritime affairs, local development and local administration, regional development and EU funds implementation and management. She worked in as the Assistant Minister at the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds and moved to the position of State Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture in 2016. Between 2005-2009 she worked on the Trade and Transport Integration (TTI) development programme co-financed by a loan from the World Bank loan to improve port infrastructures and terminals. She holds a Master of Science in International Economics and Finance from the University of Zagreb, Croatia.

John Walsh

John Walsh is a team leader in the Evaluation and European Semester unit of the Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy in the European Commission. In his functions he works on ESIF Open Data, and the monitoring and evaluation of 2014-2020 programmes. He was a coordinator for the 2016 Annual Summary report. He has a wide experience in issues linked to coordinating the implementation of the Structural and Cohesion Funds. In 2010 and 2013 he was involved in producing the Commission Strategic reports on implementation of the 2007-2013 programmes across the EU 27. Previously, he worked on thematic coordination and good practice exchange and supported the independent jury for the annual RegioStars awards from 2008-2013. From 1999-2003 he was desk officer for Structural Funds and Cohesion Fund activities in the UK and Ireland. Before working in DG Regional Policy he worked in policy coordination functions in DG Research and DG Industry. His started his public sector career in the Irish Department of Enterprise and Employment working on EC affairs.

Claude Wohrer

Currently attached to the “Secretariat Général de la mer” (Secretariat general for the Sea), office of the prime minister, she graduated as a doctor in ocean sciences from the University of Paris VI .
I was part of the French Inter ministerial Committee on the Dismantling of Civilian and Military end of life ships (2007) and have been working on the Ship recycling issue since then at national, European and international level. For the last 5 years, I have been involved in the European Integrated Maritime Policy with a specific focus on sea basin strategies (Atlantic and Mediterranean).

Regarding the Mediterranean basin, I am looking forward to identify and promote links between actions related to the Commission initiative for a sustainable development of the blue economy in the western Mediterranean, the European Territorial Cooperation program MED ( PANORAMED axe 4 on governance) and BLUEMED

Aurelio Zentilin

Aurelio Zentilin is the Healthcare Manager of Almar, a cooperative company of lagoon aquaculture in Udine, Italy where he has been employed since 1995 as administrative adviser and head of the research and development department. Almar runs a clam hatchery and bivalve farms on the Adriatic Sea, with a depuration and a despatch center. He also teaches classes on clam culture and for several years now, has been collaborating with public and private research institutes on issues related to aquaculture, fisheries management and the impacts of fishing activities and environmental changes in the North Adriatic. Aurelio was also involved in promotional and dissemination activities, producing numerous articles on marine biology and aquaculture. He graduated in Biological Sciences in the University of Trieste in 1986.

Anna Zito

Anna Zito joined DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries in 2011 where she has been leading the Aquaculture team since then. In particular she has been responsible for the setting up and implementation of the Open Method of Coordination for the sustainable development of EU aquaculture. Until December 2016 she was in the Common Fisheries Policy coordination unit before moving to the Blue Economy sectors, Aquaculture and MSP unit. Her career within the European Commission included assignments in the areas of Employment and Social Affairs, Human Resources and Fundamental Rights and Rights of the Child policies. Before joining the European Commission she was project manager in the Italian National Agency for Youth Enterprise creation. Anna holds a Degree in Political Sciences from the University of Florence, Italy.