38th Session of the FAO General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean, Rome, Italy, 19-24 May 2014.

Published online
18 Mar 2015
Published by
Food and Agriculture Organization
Content type
Bulletin; Conference proceedings

Publication language
Black Sea & Mediterranean Region & Mediterranean Sea


The thirty-eighth session of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), including the fifth session of the Committee on Administration and Finance (CAF) and the eighth session of the Compliance Committee (CoC), was attended by representatives from 22 Members, 3 non-Members, 15 intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. In the light of the outcomes of its third extraordinary session (Greece, April 2014), the Commission endorsed its amended Agreement, which sets ambitious goals based on principles such as the subregional approach, multiannual management and stakeholders' involvement. In recognition of the importance attached by the Commission to cooperation with partner organizations, three memoranda of understanding were officially entered into with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the International Union for Conservation of Nature - Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation (IUCN-Med) and the Centre for Marketing Information and Advisory Services for Fishery Products in the Arab Region (INFOSAMAK). This session was also the occasion to progress in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing though the adoption of guidelines relating to vessels monitoring systems (VMS), a roadmap to fight IUU fishing in the Mediterranean Sea and a GFCM IUU vessel list to be widely disseminated. Important decisions, such as a recommendation concerning the identification of non-compliance, were also taken to ensure better compliance with GFCM decisions, in particular within the clarification process expected to result, in 2015, in the identification of cases on non-compliance by both Members and non-Members. Regarding the management of fisheries, the measures adopted by the Commission include a recommendation on precautionary and emergency measures for 2015 on small pelagic stocks in GSA 17. The Commission also endorsed guidelines for the management of Mediterranean red coral populations, practical guidelines for artificial reefs in the Mediterranean and Black Sea and the new GFCM Data Collection Reference Framework (DCRF). Acknowledging the crucial role of small-scale fisheries in the region and the need to develop governance in this sector, the Commission also supported the launch of the first regional cooperative programme for the promotion of sustainable small-scale fisheries. In the field of aquaculture, the Commission recalled the need to support its sustainable development in the region and welcomed the launch of a new Aquaculture multi-stakeholder platform (AMShP) as well as guidelines for the sustainable management of coastal lagoons. Moreover, it acknowledged the key elements for guidelines on a harmonized environmental monitoring programme (EMP) for marine finfish cage farming in the Mediterranean and Black Sea. Finally, the Commission decided to reconduct Mr Abdellah Srour as Executive Secretary of the GFCM from June 2016 until 2021. It adopted its 2014 autonomous budget, amounting to USD 2 245 916, and discussed the possibility of shifting to the adoption of a triennial budget in the future. The programme of work for the intersession, including under the first GFCM Framework Programme, was also approved.

Key words