Photo taken on April 15, 2016 shows a Syrian boy washing himself on a beach full of rubbishat the Port of Piraeus behind the Passenger Terminal E1, in Piraeus, Greece. (Xinhua/Lefteris Partsalis)
VALLETTA, Oct. 6 (Xinhua)-- The European Commission is dedicating nearly 560 million euros (657 million U.S. dollars) with 36 concrete ocean actions, Commission Vice President Frederica Mogherini announced at the Our Ocean conference 2017 being held in Malta on Thursday.
Mogherini said that the sea is increasingly sick and insecure.
"By 2050 the oceans could contain more plastic than fish. And the poison that we throw into the water comes back to us, to our tables, in the food we eat," she added.
The rise of sea levels is already forcing millions of people to leave their homes and migrate. Meanwhile, the ocean is becoming a security threat.
For these reasons, the EU is putting nearly 560 million euros into 36 tangible actions to foster healthier, cleaner, safer and more secure seas.
These actions involve six categories: maritime security, marine pollution, blue economy, climate change, marine protection and sustainable fisheries.
A significant portions of funds -- 35.7 million euros -- will go directly to the Southeastern African coastline to fight piracy, especially along Somalian coast.
In addition, EU announced a gradual phase-out by the end 2017 of all single-use plastic cups in buildings and meetings, including water fountains and vending machines.
"The health and safety of our ocean is a national security issue, and yet it cannot be guaranteed by any individual nation alone. What brings us here today is the urgent and inescapable need for international cooperation on maritime issues," Mogherini said.