Today, the MedSea4Fish programme was officially launched with the endorsement of the guiding document by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Fisheries (SAC) of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM).
An important deliverable of the GFCM 2030 Strategy, the MedSea4Fish is an ambitious long-term programme, combining the European Union’s (EU) common fishery policy (CFP) models of regionalisation and stakeholder participation with the GFCM capacity-building framework. It will support Mediterranean riparian countries and stakeholders in meeting their GFCM commitments through active participation in strategic initiatives. The goals of the programme are to create a level playing field and to ensure the sustainable management of fisheries in the Mediterranean Sea.
The programme is based on GFCM’s flagship project BlackSea4Fish and its best practices. Under this approach, national priorities are discussed at the subregional and regional levels, while the GFCM strategy and decisions provide guidance. The GFCM subregional technical units play a critical role, organizing local activities, sharing expertise and coordinating technical assistance work.
The MedSea4Fish programme is guided by the GFCM Strategy and a number of other instruments, such as the Regional Plan of Action for Small-scale Fisheries in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea (RPOA-SSF), the MedFish4Ever Ministerial Declaration and the Data Collection Reference Framework (DCRF).
It was adopted though the EU’s strong advocacy efforts for the implementation of the subregional approach at the level of the GFCM. The European Commission will support the implementation of the programme with its €8 million GFCM grant.
The GFCM subregional approach to fisheries management is an integral part of the GFCM Agreement, which aims to reinforce regional fisheries governance by accounting for the specificities of the GFCM area. The Scientific Advisory Committee on Fisheries (SAC) established four subregional committees (SRCs), one per each Mediterranean subregion (Adriatic Sea, Western, Central and Eastern Mediterranean). The subregional committees bring together experts and the representatives of the administrations, who act in a technical capacity and support enhanced scientific advice.
MedSea4Fish operates through four subregional projects, reflecting the four Mediterranean subregions, that are implemented with the help of dedicated subregional technical units.
The GFCM has established four subregional technical units in the Mediterranean and one in the Black Sea
- Western (Málaga, Spain)
- Central (Tunis, Tunisia)
- Eastern (Beirut, Lebanon) Mediterranean
- Adriatic Sea (Split, Croatia)
- Black Sea (Burgas, Bulgaria)
- Algeria, France, Italy, Monaco, Morocco and Spain in the western Mediterranean
- Italy, Libya, Malta and Tunisia in the central Mediterranean
- Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Palestine, Syrian Arab Republic and Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean
- Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Italy, Montenegro and Slovenia in the Adriatic Sea
The European Commission is also a participant in the programme, as well as a major donor through the EU GFCM Grant.
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