Last week, a high-level conference organised under the FAO General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) took place in Marrakech. The aim was to review the progresses made under the MedFish4Ever Declaration which was adopted by many Mediterranean coastline states in 2017.
The European Commission launched a strategy to reduce overfishing in the Mediterranean back in 2016. However, cooperation from all Mediterranean countries is needed to achieve sustainable fisheries in this closed sea basin. The MedFish4Ever Declaration goes in this direction and was signed by most Mediterranean countries after a Ministerial conference that took place in April 2017.
The declaration draws up a 10-year strategy for safeguarding the future of the Mediterranean and the signatories committed to strengthen governance for Mediterranean fisheries, to improve data collection, fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and to better coordinate their actions in these areas. The Declaration also makes some references to recreational fisheries and calls for an increased effort in data collection and for common rules to manage them in an effective way.
At the Marrakech Conference, European Commissioner for Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Karmenu Vella presented the latest accomplishment of the EU such as the adoption of the first multi-annual plan for demersal stocks in the Western Mediterranean as well as the creation of new Marine Protected Areas.
Moreover, the 16 signatories renewed their commitments to the Declaration and the fight against IUU was identified as one of the most pressing challenges to be tackled.
The European Anglers Alliance (EAA) and the European Fishing Tackle Trade Association (EFTTA) continue to support and advocate sustainable fisheries management in the Mediterranean and for the protection of its invaluable ecosystems. The EAA is directly engaged in discussions and advice on how to achieve this through the participation of its Italian member, the Alleanza Pescatori Ricreativi (APR), to the Mediterranean Advisory Council (MEDAC).
More information about the Marrakech Conference are available in the European Commission’s press release available here.