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General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM)

Commission - 42nd session

22 October 2018 - 26 October 2018

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ABSTRACT

The forty-second session of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean as well as the ninth session of the Committee on Administration and Finance was attended by delegates of 22 contracting parties, as well as of four cooperating non-contracting parties and two non-contracting parties. Representatives from 15 intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and its regional projects as well as the Bureaus of the Commission and its subsidiary bodies, were also in attendance.

During the session, progress in activities related to fisheries, aquaculture, compliance and other strategic activities was reviewed. Moreover, cooperation activities within the framework of agreements with contracting parties and cooperating non-contracting parties and with partner organizations were discussed. In light of increasing cooperation with the GFCM, the Commission granted cooperating non-contracting party status to Jordan.

In relation to the management of fisheries and aquaculture in the GFCM area of application, a total of eleven binding recommendations were adopted, dealing with the following issues: multiannual management plans for European eel, for deep-water red shrimp fisheries in the Levant and Ionian Seas and for demersal fisheries in the Strait of Sicily; conservation of sharks and rays; international joint inspection and surveillance in the Strait of Sicily; regional research programmes on blue crab in the Mediterranean and on rapa whelk fisheries in the Black Sea; further emergency measuresfor small pelagic stocks in the Adriatic Sea; access to information and data related to monitoring, control and surveillance and regional marking of fishing gear. Futhermore, the Commission agreed to launch its second performance review in 2019 and welcomed the establishment of five subregional technical units in Bulgaria, Croatia, Lebanon, Spain and Tunisia.

Finally, the Commission adopted its programme of work for the next intersession and approved its budget amounting to US$2 537 241 for 2019 as well as a number of strategic actions to be funded through extrabudgetary resources. It also unanimously endorsed the new Bureaus of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Fisheries, the Working Group on the Black Sea and the Committee on Administration and Finance. Finally, on the occasion of its resumed session held in December 2018, the Commission unanimously elected its new Chairperson and Vice-Chairpersons.