General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean - GFCM

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Fisheries Restricted Areas (FRAs)

A fisheries restricted area (FRA) is a geographically defined area in which some specific fishing activities are temporarily or permanently banned or restricted in order to improve the exploitation patterns and conservation of specific stocks as well as of habitats and deep-sea ecosystems. 

In the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, 1 760 000 km2 of sea habitats are protected by ten FRAs established by the GFCM. This includes one large deep-water FRA (1 730 000 km2) in which the use of towed dredges and trawl nets in all waters deeper than 1000 metres is banned to protect deep-sea benthic habitats.

The Jabuka Pomo Pit FRA in the Adriatic Sea is an important example of how both fisheries and the environment can benefit from effective management measures. More information about the benefits of FRAs is available in The State of Mediterranean and Black Sea Fisheries (SoMFi) 2020

Find out more about the protection of vulnerable marine environments (VMEs) at the global level from the FAO VME Database