Keys to the Regional Action Plan regarding small-scale fisheries in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea

small-scale fisheries

Keys to the Regional Action Plan regarding small-scale fisheries in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea

The Mediterranean and Black Sea Region have a strong dependency on small-scale fisheries both economical and socially.

There, rely the importance of the the High Level Conference concerning sustainable small-scale fishing both in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.  Alicia Villauriz, Spanish Secretary General of Fisheries participated in this conference that took place in Malta. Afterwards, a ministerial declaration was issued informing about the Regional Plan adoption.

The mentioned conference was organized by the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM). This regional fisheries organization is responsible for the regulation of fisheries in the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea. It is also linked to FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation). All the coastal countries of the European Union are members. Karmelu Vella, European Union Commissioner of the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries was in attendance.

What is the Regional Action Plan for small-scale fishing in the Mediterranean and Black Sea?

After the approval by the FAO, in 2014, of the “Voluntary Guidelines for the sustainability of small-scale fisheries in the context of food security and the poverty eradication”, the Regional Action Plan for Small-Scale Fisheries in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea is the first internationally agreed instrument dedicated entirely to the small-scale fisheries sector.

The guidelines of the Plan add up to the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and de dispositions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

What are the keys to this Regional Action Plan for small-scale fishing in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea?

  • This Action Plan constitutes a non-binding instrument, whose objective is to reinforce in both basins the development of sustainable artisanal fisheries.
  • It establishes the principles and objectives in need to be achieved the long-term environmental, economic and social sustainability for small-scale fisheries, making special relevance of the least developed countries.
  • Its implementation will be carried out through specific actions.  And its follow-up will be coordinated by the GFCM.

Actions such as; scientific research, data collection, management measures for small-scale fisheries, value chain, participatory decision-making processes, cooperation, decent work, women’s role, and climate and environment.

Throughout the conference that lead to the approval of the Action Plan, several cases of small-scale fisheries good practices were introduced and discussed. Among the selected ones, it is worth highlighting those presented by:

  • The Baleares Federation of fishermen about fish-tourism
  • Co-management cases in Cataluña and Baleares for artisanal fisheries
  • The Andalusian experience monitoring and following-up small scale ships

During the second day, an awards ceremony took place for the most outstanding among the  selected ones. An opportunity to encourage those organisations who are deeply compromise with the sustainability for small-scale fishing in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.

It is important to emphasizes how the agreement for this Regional Plan fulfills the commitment made in the Ministerial Declaration ‘MedFish4Ever’ concerning the sustainability of Mediterranean fisheries. This declaration established that by 2018 a Regional Action Plan for these fisheries should be approved.

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