International Symposium on Fisheries Sustainability

Side event
Innovative approaches at the regional level and their contribution to sustainable fisheries and the conservation of marine ecosystems

Monday, 18 November 2019 / 14:00 – 15:30

Sheikh Zayed Centre, FAO headquarters

The side event will be webcast. Interpretation available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Russian



The role of regional oceans governance mechanisms in promoting sustainable ecosystem-based management of marine living resources has taken a prominent role on the international stage in recent years. Although the establishment of regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) considerably predates the adoption of the United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement (UNFSA), momentum has gained appreciably since this ground-breaking agreement, which puts the role of RFMOs front and center. Indeed, subsequent to the adoption of the UNFSA several other policy instruments have recognized that RFMOs, as much as other regional mechanisms mandated to ensure the conservation and management of the oceans and their resources, are uniquely poised to promote cooperation and advance policy agendas. In recent years, and most notably as a result of the proclamation of the UN Decade for Ocean Science (2021-2030), RFMOs have been regarded as an essential link between scientists and policy-makers, with some recent initiatives demonstrating that RFMOs are indeed at the forefront of strengthening this science-policy nexus. In this light, building upon the success of its first Forum on Fisheries Science in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea ("Fish Forum"; 10-14 December 2018, FAO headquarters, Rome, Italy), the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean of the FAO (GFCM) is keen to continue bridging gaps between science and policy. It is in this spirit that the GFCM is organizing a side event to shed light on the vanguard of regional fisheries innovations and to discuss opportunities for further promoting linkages between regional actions and global policies for the sustainability of marine resources. In particular, regional innovations in relation to the following three themes will be explored:

  • Scientific research towards better fisheries management at the regional level

This theme will highlight innovation in research towards enhancing fisheries management, ensuring timely and accurate stock assessments, reinforcing social and economic monitoring, and promoting a human rights-based approach to small-scale fisheries management.

  • Modular monitoring, control and surveillance to fight IUU fishing

This theme will highlight most recent developments in the field of fisheries technology to track fishing vessels, including small-scale fishing vessels, and support countries and RFMOs to prevent and deter IUU fishing.

  • Regional insights towards addressing environmental issues

This theme will highlight progress in adaptation to and mitigation of climate change and other anthropogenic impacts on the marine environment, such as ocean noise pollution, habitat degradation and incidental catch of vulnerable species.
Key messages resulting from these discussions will be prepared to feed the discussions within the FAO International Symposium.

Invited speakers

  • David Agnew, Executive Secretary, Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR)
  • Alejandro Anganuzzi, Global Coordinator, Common Oceans ABNJ Tuna Project, FAO
  • Miguel Bernal, Fisheries Resources Officer, General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM)
  • Natalie Degger, Deputy Project Manager and Training specialist, International Waters Learning Exchange and Resource Network (IW:LEARN), Global Environment Facility (GEF)
  • Beth Fulton, Research Group Leader, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia
  • David Kroodsma, Director of Research and Innovation, Global Fishing Watch
  • Mitchell Lay, Fisher and Program Coordinator, Caribbean Network of Fisher Folk Organisations (CNFO) and Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI), Belize
  • Ana Parma, Principal Researcher, Argentinian Council for Science and Technology (CONICET), Argentina
  • Abdellah Srour, Executive Secretary, General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM)
  • Francisco Werner, Chief Science Advisor and Director of Science Programs, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), USA