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Implications of a step-by-step approach and options for addressing IUU fishing for consideration by GFCM

38. After considering the implications of a step-by-step approach, the Workshop identified principles and priority activities for combating IUU fishing in the Mediterranean, and recommended the establishment of a GFCM Special Working Group on IUU Fishing ("IUU Special Working Group") as described below. The following options for addressing IUU fishing could be considered at the twenty-ninth session of GFCM.

1.1 Principles

1. There should be a focus on implementing IPOA-IUU tools that respond to specific GFCM management needs at subregional and regional levels. In this context, differences between GFCM and other RFMOs should be taken into account, especially noting GFCM priorities including operational units, the extent and value of fisheries managed, resolutions, localized approaches, special characteristics of Mediterranean fisheries and aspects of GFCM Membership.

2. A holistic approach should be taken that addresses the special circumstances of IUU fishing in the GFCM Area.

3. Existing relevant GFCM initiatives and projects should be taken into account, including CopeMed, AdriaMed, MedsudMed and MedFisis.

4. Members should be requested, as appropriate, to provide input for activities and identify needs and next steps as appropriate, consistent with a "bottom up" approach.

1.2 Priorities

1. Establish a regional vessel register for designated classes of vessels, including taking the following steps:

2. Establish a reporting procedure.

3. Establish a framework for a control scheme.

4. Promote compatible legal approaches to GFCM conservation and management measures among members, including by completing and finalizing the current study and taking account of the results of this Workshop.

5. Continue to evaluate MCS technical capacity at national level among all GFCM Members, especially with regard to improving reporting systems.

6. Based on the analysis of the white and black vessel lists, further assess the extent of IUU fishing by non-contracting parties in the Mediterranean.

1.3 Options for addressing IUU fishing

1. The Commission should establish a special working group to make recommendations addressing the problem of IUU fishing, taking into account the principles and priorities recommended by the Workshop and the results of relevant surveys, to be called "IUU Special Working Group".

2. The IUU Special Working Group should be mandated to consider the need for a medium-term regional project to address IUU fishing activities in the Mediterranean.

3. The Commission should provide guidance on the institutional arrangements for the IUU Special Working Group.

4. The Commission should invite its Members to formulate National Plans of Action on IUU Fishing and to implement them.

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