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This paper sets out the evolving management role of regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs), as agreed in recent international fisheries instruments. Issues common to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and management of fishing capacity are described, especially as contained in the International Plans of Action (IPOAs) relating to these areas. The status and implementation of the International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IPOA - IUU) in the Mediterranean is also described with reference to: the contexts in which IUU fishing has been addressed by the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM); the adoption of national plans of action (NPOAs) on IUU fishing by GFCM members; and the adoption by the European Union Fisheries Council of conclusions on IUU fishing.

A possible process and considerations for implementation of the IPOA - IUU by GFCM are identified, and in conclusion the potential effects on fisheries management are noted.

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