New strategy to improve sustainability of fisheries in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea

The General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) has adopted its new 2030 Strategy for the Mediterranean and Black Sea at the end of the 44th annual session, which took place between 2 and 6 November. An agreement was also reached on an ambitious package of measures translating the Strategy into concrete actions. The European Union will support the implementation of the Strategy with an increased financial grant. Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, welcomed the results of the annual session: “The new GFCM 2030 Strategy provides the framework and the necessary tools to ensure a sustainable, just and inclusive future for our fleets and our local communities, while protecting the ecosystems in the region. We must act quickly and decisively. The EU remains committed to the implementation of the new strategy.” The adopted ambitious package of measures includes a first-ever multi-annual plan (MAP) to manage Adriatic small pelagic stocks (anchovies and sardines), an additional reduction of the fishing effort for key demersal stocks and new Fisheries Restricted Areas (FRA), which will together prevent the collapse of the small pelagic fish, support the recovery of the demersal stocks and the long-term profitability of the Adriatic fisheries. Other recommendations tabled by the EU include important measures to improve fisheries management and control in the Adriatic and Black Seas, better protect sensitive species and habitats, and consolidate the monitoring and control framework, including combatting illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) activities in both the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. The new strategy builds on recent achievements. With its five targets, it takes an integrated approach to the complex challenges in the region and the ‘green transition’. Furthermore, the Strategy continues to support local communities and their livelihoods along the value chain, with special focus on small-scale fisheries. There will also be coordinated measures to ensure decent working conditions, support young people and properly recognise the role of women in the fisheries and aquaculture sector, as well as promote the participatory decision-making process. More information is available in this news item.