General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean members adopt 34 sustainability measures

Attendees of the 45th session of the GFCM.

E.U. member-states and additional member countries of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) adopted several measures at the regional fisheries management organization’s 46th annual session in early November.

The GFCM adopted a series of recommendations aimed toward minimizing fishery impacts on the wider marine environment, along with measures to refine the reach and effectiveness of the science-based management plans for key commercial stocks introduced by GFCM over the past decade.

It also agreed on a regional plan of action to protect vulnerable species such as seabirds, cetaceans, and sea turtles, while critically endangered species such as European eels and Black Sea sturgeon are now under increased levels of protection. Additionally, in line with the Paris Agreement, the RFMO launched a long-term initiative toward achieving decarbonization within the region’s fishing fleet, including the promotion of sustainable energy sources, carbon sequestration techniques, and low-impact production methods.

The GFCM also confirmed a resolution to launch guidelines that support the implementation of environmental monitoring programs, as well as proactive efforts to reduce plastic use and improve sector waste management.

Establishing the highest number of adopted decisions at one meeting at 34, GFCM Executive Secretary Miguel Bernal hailed the meeting as one of the most productive in the GFCM’s history.

“By definition, making plans for the conservation and sustainable use of shared marine resources depends on trust and collaboration between many different stakeholders,” Bernal said. “I’m delighted by the ambitious attitude our members brought to the session this year, coming together to achieve common aims and objectives.”

According to the European Commission Mediterranean and Black Sea Fisheries Management Head Valérie Lainé, these plans have been “making a real difference” toward sustainability targets.

It’s very encouraging to see the... 

Photo courtesy of GFCM/Nikola Brboleža

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