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General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM)

Commission - 39th session

25 May 2015 - 29 May 2015


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ABSTRACT

The thirty-ninth session of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), including the sixth session of the Committee on Administration and Finance (CAF) and the ninth session of the Compliance Committee (CoC), was attended by representatives from 23 Members, 3 non-Members as well as 7 intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. In the context of the amendment process of the GFCM legal framework, the Commission examined and adopted by consensus its new rules of procedure and financial regulations, in line with the new GFCM Agreement entered into force on 20 May 2014 . During the session, the cooperating non-contracting party status was granted to Georgia and Ukraine in light of their increasing involvement in GFCM activities in the Black Sea. Moreover, in order to enhance cooperation with partner organizations, the Commission, based on a proposed set of objectives and activities, requested the GFCM Secretariat to finalize and sign, on behalf of GFCM/FAO, four new memoranda of understanding with MedPAN, ATLAFCO, OceanCare and EATIP. A set of important measures for the management and conservation of fisheries resources in both the Mediterranean and the Black Sea were discussed and agreed upon. In particular, the Commission adopted four recommendations, namely: Recommendation GFCM/39/2015/1 establishing further precautionary and emergency measures in 2016 for small pelagic stocks in the Adriatic Sea (GSA 17 and GSA 18); Recommendation GFCM/39/2015/2 on the establishment of a set of minimum standards for bottom trawling fisheries of demersal stocks in the Strait of Sicily, pending the development and adoption of a multiannual management plan; Recommendation GFCM/39/2015/3 on the establishement of a set of measures to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in turbot fisheries in the Black Sea and Recommendation GFCM/39/2015/4 on management measures for piked dogfish in the Black Sea. The session also provided an opportunity for GFCM Members to reaffirm their willingness to adopt measures to deter IUU fishing and to review the progress made in the implementation of the related roadmaps. In this respect, the Commission welcomed the initiative to proclaim, on 24 April, an international day for the fight against IUU fishing. Necessary actions in this respect should be explored. In light of the growing importance of the aquaculture sector in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, and building upon the outcomes of the Regional Aquaculture Conference held in December 2014, the Commission established a task force in charge of developing a “strategy for the sustainable development of Mediterranean and Black Sea aquaculture”. Finally, the Commission adopted its programme of work for the next intersession and approved, for the first time, its triennial budget (firm for the first two years) amounting to US dollars 2 359 564 for 2015 and US dollars 2 479 727 for 2016. The current mandate of the GFCM Bureau as well as those of CoC, CAF and CAQ were exceptionnally extended for a two-year term.