FAO-GFCM: Countries unite for sustainable future – progress in Mediterranean, Black Sea fisheries and aquaculture management

MORE than 20 countries and the European Union have adopted 34 measures to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of marine living resources, as well as the sustainable development of aquaculture in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. 

The forty-sixth session of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean, GFCM, of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), which closed today in Split, Croatia, was one of the most productive in the organization’s history.

The GFCM is the regional fisheries management organization with the authority to make binding recommendations for fisheries and aquaculture development in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. As such, the annual session is a pivotal date in the sector’s calendar, and this year it saw representatives of the member countries of the GFCM joined by experts and observers from 12 partner organizations, including Global Fishing WatchMEDACOceanaOceanCare and WWF.

Every year, recommendations and resolutions are proposed and voted on as GFCM members agree on a workplan for the years to come. All decisions are geared towards putting the long-term future of the region’s vital fisheries and aquaculture sector on a sustainable footing.

This year, a total of 34 decisions were unanimously adopted, including 24 binding recommendations, the highest number so far. The proposals centred on three main themes: improving fisheries management, addressing climate and environmental issues in the fisheries and aquaculture sector, and enhancing compliance.