Fisheries: Building a new strategy for Mediterranean and Black Sea fisheries and aquaculture

The High-level meeting on the future strategy for the Mediterranean and Black Sea took place today, under the umbrella of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) of the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO). Fisheries ministers of the GFCM contracting parties reaffirmed their commitment towards ensuring the sustainability of fisheries and aquaculture in the Mediterranean and Black Sea, as set under the MedFish4Ever and Sofia Declarations. Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, attended the high-level meeting and underlined the importance of having an ambitious long-term strategy for the two sea basins: “The MedFish4Ever and Sofia Declarations have already changed the way we manage our fisheries, but we continue to face major challenges such as overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, climate change, plastic pollution, economic hardships and now COVID-19. This is a difficult process, and thus coordinated action is needed to ensure a future for fishermen and women in the Mediterranean and Black Sea”. The Commissioner stressed the importance of adopting more management plans, ensuring a robust scientific basis for future conservation measures, strengthening the culture of compliance and the fight against IUU fishing, as well as minimising and mitigating the unwanted impact of fisheries on marine ecosystems. The high-level meeting launched the process defining a new common strategy for 2021-2025 to ensure the sustainability of fisheries and aquaculture in the Mediterranean and Black Sea, which is expected to be adopted at the next annual meeting scheduled to take place in June 2021. More information can be found here.