Director-General  QU Dongyu

FAO Director-General visits the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean headquarters


5 February, 2020, RomeFAO Director-General QU Dongyu paid a visit today to the headquarters of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) – a FAO statutory body which operates under FAO Governing Bodies. Its main objective is to federate efforts among countries to ensure the conservation and the sustainable use of living marine resources as well as the sustainable development of aquaculture in all the waters of the Mediterranean and in the Black Sea. 

Qu started this first-ever visit of a FAO Director-General to GFCM headquarters by personally greeting every member of the staff. This was followed by a meeting with GFCM Chairperson Roland Kristo and GFCM Executive Secretary Abdellah Srour, as well as other senior managers. 

During this meeting, the FAO chief encouraged the GFCM to explore ways to share best practices and knowledge, in particular, in the area of aquaculture, with the small island developing countries especially in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) regions in line with FAO Hand-in-Hand Initiative.

“I appreciate your contribution as a regional platform. But it is also very complimentary to the global mandate of FAO in the field of fisheries and aquaculture,” he added referring, in particular, to biotechnology, biodiversity conservation, policy against illegal fishing as key areas where the GFCM can tap into to help smallholder fishers and aquaculture farmers improve their livelihoods.

The Director-General also suggested closer attention to providing concrete services to fish farmers in the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions, including capacity building and access to technologies, markets and financial resources.

For his part, GFCM Chairperson thanked the Director-General for his visit and assured him of the GFCM’s full support to the Director-General’s initiatives and his vision for a stronger and more efficient FAO.

The Executive Secretary highlighted the GFCM’s strong presence in the field to provide more country-tailored support in the region and to make sure that all FAO guidelines and policies, are well implemented and understood at country level.

Srour also noted that GFCM works closely with farmer organisations to provide better outreach to smallholder farmers, as well as with NGOs, civil society organizations, investors, private companies, including financial institutions such as banks and insurance companies to promote and facilitate targeted investments.