IUCN welcomes a new cooperation agreement with the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), announced during the 32nd session held in Rome from 25 to 29 February 2008.
In line with IUCN-Med programme of work, aspects to be addressed under this framework will reinforce regional cooperation include
- the implementation of an ecosystem approach to fisheries and aquaculture,
- the dissemination of guidelines for the sustainable development of aquaculture,
- the establishment of a representative network of Mediterranean marine restricted fishing areas, including for sensitive habitat of deep sea ecosystems, pelagic ecosystems and in high sea, as well as
- the organisation of joint events and information sharing.
Two additional agreements have been signed by the GFCM: one with RAC/SPA (Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas of the Mediterranean Action Plan - UNEP/ Barcelona Convention) and one with the CIHEAM (International Centre for Advanced Agronomic Studies).
The GFCM is the organisation responsible for the management of fisheries in the region. Dependant on FAO, it is based in Rome (Italy) and it has an independent budget from 23 Member States and the EU. IUCN has been working with the GFCM for several years. A major keystone for the region was the ban, in 2005, of sea bottom-trawling fishing techniques beyond 1000m in the Mediterranean.
IUCN-Med looks forward to continuing its work hand in hand with relevant partners from different sectors to help protect our natural resources in the Mediterranean.