General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean - GFCM

The GFCM in brief

The General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) is a regional fisheries management organization (RFMO) established in 1949 under the provisions of Article XIV of the Constitution of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The GFCM is currently composed of 23 contracting parties (22 member countries and the European Union) and 5 cooperating non contracting parties (Bosnia and Herzegovina · Georgia · Jordan · Republic of Moldova · Ukraine).

The GFCM plays a critical role in fisheries governance in its area of application, having the authority to adopt binding recommendations for fisheries conservation and management and for aquaculture development. These recommendations can relate, among others, to the regulation of fishing methods, fishing gear and minimum landing size, as well as the establishment of spatial protection measures, fishing effort control and of multiannual management plans for selected fisheries.

Representatives of the GFCM Contracting parties meet annually to review and adopt the recommendations prepared on the basis of the advice provided by the GFCM subsidiary bodies:

The GFCM implements its policy and activities through its Secretariat, based at its headquarters in Rome and implements a subregional approach to fisheries management through its sub-regional technical units.

In cooperation with other RFMOs, the GFCM plays a decisive part in coordinating governmental efforts to effectively manage fisheries at the regional level following the United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement (UNFSA) and in line with the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF). Moreover, it closely collaborates with intergovernmental, non-governmental and civil society organizations in matters of mutual interest. It also both coordinates and benefits from the support of projects and programmes at the regional and subregional levels in order to enhance scientific cooperation and capacity-building among its contracting parties.

 *Figures based on official data and estimates