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The General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) Workshop on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing in the Mediterranean (Rome, 23 and 26 June 2004) suggested a work plan for consideration by GFCM in its efforts to combat IUU fishing in the Mediterranean, stressing the importance of adopting a practical, step-by-step approach to implementing the International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IPOA-IUU). Relevant background information and issues were carefully reviewed along with activity being carried out by GFCM and other regional fisheries management organizations, including the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas. The Workshop noted that the tools used to combat IUU fishing should fit the special circumstances of the Mediterranean fisheries and the GFCM mandate, in their functioning and with respect to conservation and management issues, particularly at national level.

Salient issues at regional level were considered, including a register or record of fishing vessels, inspection, enforcement and an observer programme, reporting, transshipment and vessel monitoring systems. The difficulties in identifying and quantifying IUU fishing activities were discussed; the negligible fishing for non-tuna species in the Mediterranean since 1997 was noted and it was suggested that further identification and quantification be based around GFCM management measures, in particular the operational units. It was recommended that Members be invited by the Commission to formulate National Plans of Action on IUU fishing and carry them out.

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