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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nationsfor a world without hunger
  1. Objectives
  2. Area of competence
  3. Species and stocks coverage
  4. Legal Framework
  5. Languages
  6. Members
  7. Structure
  8. Publications
  9. Contact
Objectives The purpose of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean is to promote the development, conservation, rational management and best utilization of living marine resources, as well as the sustainable development of aquaculture in its area of competence.


The Commission has the following functions and responsibilities:

  • to keep under review the state of these resources, including their abundance and the level of their exploitation, as well as the state of the fisheries based thereon;
  • to formulate and recommend, in accordance with the provisions of Article V [of the GFCM constitutive agreement], appropriate measures:
    1. for the conservation and rational management of living marine resources, including measures:
      • regulating fishing methods and fishing gear,
      • prescribing the minimum size for individuals of specified species,
      • establishing open and closed fishing seasons and areas,
      • regulating the amount of total catch and fishing effort and their allocation among Members,
    2. for the implementation of these recommendations;
  • to keep under review the economic and social aspects of the fishing industry and recommend any measures aimed at its development,
  • to encourage, recommend, coordinate and, as appropriate, undertake training and extension activities, as well as research and development activities, including cooperative projects in the areas of fisheries and the protection of living marine resources;
  • to assemble, publish or disseminate information regarding exploitable living marine resources and fisheries based on these resources;
  • to promote programmes for marine and brackish water aquaculture and coastal fisheries enhancement; to carry out such other activities as may be necessary for the Commission to achieve its purpose as defined above.
Area of competenceThe Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea.
GFCM area of competence - High seas, National waters
The designations employed and the presentation of material in the map(s) are for illustration only and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal or constitutional status of any country, territory or sea area, or concerning the delimitation of frontiers or boundaries.
Species and stocks coverageAll living marine resource within the area of competence. Legal FrameworkThe "Agreement for the Establishment of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean" was adopted under Article XIV of the FAO Constitution in 1949 and entered into force on 20 February 1952. It was amended three times (1963, 1972 and 1997) and it is available at
The GFCM's Rules of Procedure and Financial Regulations are also available at the same link. Following a two-year performance review, and according to the decisions taken by the Commission at its 36th and 37th Session, an amendment process of the GFCM legal framework is currently ongoing.
Languages The official languages of the Commission are , Arabic, English, French, Spanish. Members

The Members of the Commission shall be such Members and Associate Members of the FAO and such non-member States as are members of the United Nations, any of its Specialized Agencies or the International Atomic Energy Agency, that are:

(i) coastal States or Associated Members that are situated wholly or partly within the area of competence,

(ii) States of Associated Members whose vessels engage in fishing within the area of competence or regional economic integration organizations of which any State referred to in (i) or (ii) is a member and to which that State has transferred competence over matters within the purview of the GFCM Agreement.

Member: Albania, Algeria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, European Union, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Turkey.


The GFCM holds its regular session annually.
Extraordinary sessions of the Commission may be convened at the request or with
the approval of a majority of the Members.
Each Member has one vote, with the exception of regional economic integration organizations that are entitled to exercise a number of votes equal to the number of its Member States entitled to vote, consistent with the areas of their respective competence.

The Commission operates during the intersessional period by means of its four committees, namely the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), the Committee on Aquaculture (CAQ), the Compliance Committee (CoC), the Committee of Administration and Finance (CAF)and their subsidiary bodies, such as the ad hoc Working Group on the Black Sea. The Commission implements its policy and activities through the Secretariat.


GFCM "Statistics and Information" are available at: http://www.gfcm.org/gfcm/topic/16103/en, while GFCM "Reports and Documents" are available at


GFCM Secretariat

Palazzo Blumenstihl, Via Vittoria Colonna 1

Telephone: +3906 570 56649

Telephone: +3906 570 54055

Fax: +3906 570 55827

Web site: http://www.gfcm.org

Email: gfcm-secretariat

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