General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean - GFCM

Socio-economic characteristics

Fisheries generate food, income and livelihoods. Socio-economic data can help to explain how fishers act within them, as the species targeted, the level of exploitation of resources and the gear used are all influenced by the benefits received (i.e. the revenue) and the costs incurred. Socio-economic data are therefore a key component of the scientific advice required for the evidence-based management of fisheries, and as such CPCs are requested to regularly transmit socio-economic data to the GFCM via DCRF Task VI.

In the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, marine capture fisheries generate a total estimated annual revenue of USD 3.6 billion. However, this figure represents only part of the wider socio-economic impact of fisheries in the region, which is estimated to be at least 2.6 times as large at approximately USD 9.4 billion. The region’s fisheries employ just under a quarter of a million (225 000) people directly on board fishing vessels; while adding other fisheries-related employment along the value chain, such as the pre- and post-harvest sectors, gleaning activities and other in-kind labour (such as non-remunerative support from family members) takes the estimated total to 785 000 jobs.


  • Improvement of socio-economic data collection at national level in line with DCRF Task VI requirements, through a harmonized regional survey on socio-economic characteristics of fisheries, including small-scale fisheries.

  • Support to studies on socio-economic impacts of measures and integration of socio-economic information into scientific advice for decision-making.

  • Promotion of decent work and social protection through studies generating knowledge on the vulnerabilities and risks facing the region’s fishers, as well as sharing best practices in policy responses.

  • Identification and implementation of innovative solutions to make fisheries value chains more efficient and responsive to market demand, while ensuring food security and easy access to fresh, local products.