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). In 1952, the Agreement for the establishment of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM Agreement) officially came into force.


Federate efforts of countries towards:

  • the conservation and sustainable use of living marine resources at all levels (biological, social, economic and environmental)
  • the sustainable development of aquaculture

It plays a critical role in fisheries governance, and has the authority to make binding recommendations for fisheries conservation and management and for aquaculture development.

GFCM contracting parties meet annually to review and adopt the recommendations made by the GFCM’s subsidiary bodies:

  • the Scientific Advisory Committee on Fisheries (SAC)
  • the Scientific Advisory Committee on Aquaculture (CAQ)
  • the Compliance Committee (COC)
  • the Committee on Administration and Finance (CAF)
  • the Working Group for the Black Sea (WGBS).

The GFCM implements its policy and activities through its Secretariat, which is based at its headquarters in Rome. From there it oversees a subregional approach to fisheries management through its GFCM subregional technical units.

In cooperation with other RFMOs, the GFCM plays a central 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). It also works closely with intergovernmental, non-governmental and civil society organizations. The GFCM both coordinates and benefits from the support of initiatives to enhance scientific cooperation and capacity-building among its contracting parties.