General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean - GFCM


MedSea4Fish’s aim is to transform Mediterranean fisheries through capacity development. It will serve to better equip and skill over 20 GFCM countries as well as spur actions at national, subregional and regional levels so that the GFCM and its partners can continue turning the corner on overexploitation in the Mediterranean Sea.  

MedSea4Fish builds on lessons learnt by GFCM over the last decade and from its BlackSea4Fish project, and is guided by a number of GFCM instruments: the GFCM 2030 Agenda, binding decisions, the Regional Plan of Action for Small-scale Fisheries in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea (RPOA-SSF), the MedFish4Ever Ministerial Declaration, the Data Collection Reference Framework (DCRF). 

It will be shaped by GFCM member countries’ priorities in the fishery sector and in line with their regional and international commitments. 


GFCM unveils MedSea4Fish, an ambitious fisheries programme to continue turning the corner on overexploitation in Mediterranean Sea

The MedSea4Fish guiding document was endorsed by the twenty-third session of the GFCM Scientific Advisory Committee on Fisheries (FAO headquarters, Rome, Italy, 21-24 June 2022). ENGLISH / FRENCH


MedSea4Fish is built on three components:   

  1. The monitoring of fisheries and ecosystems component underpins the formulation of comprehensive scientific advice on the status of fisheries, including economic and social aspects, and on the health of the marine environment. It does so by supporting the regular collection of relevant data on marine living resources and ecosystems as well as fisheries activities.  
  2. The training and capacity building component enhances - at the national and subregional levels - the expertise of fishers, fish workers, scientists and representatives of the national administrations on aspects such as the implementation of new fishing technologies, the capacity to collect and analyse data on all aspects of fisheries, and the implementation of complex management plans. 
  3. The infrastructure component supports the upgrade, expansion or new construction of relevant sites, and provides the technology and tools to improve national facilities and equipment.

Fishers and fish workers, scientists and experts, and representatives of government and national fishery research institutes will be the main groups to benefit from MedSea4Fish.  

Small-scale fisheries make up around 80 percent of the fleet in the Mediterranean. Therefore, fishers - especially small-scale fishers - and fish workers play a central role in supporting coastal communities’ livelihoods, ensuring food security and nutrition, and boosting local economies. Building their capacity is paramount.


MedSea4Fish is implemented through four subregional projects, aligned with the four Mediterranean subregions, owing to subregional characteristics that call for tailored actions, and capitalizing on established mechanisms (GFCM subregional technical units, the SAC subregional committees and others).

MedSea4Fish serves: 

  • Algeria, France, Italy, Monaco, Morocco and Spain in the western Mediterranean; 
  • Italy, Libya, Malta and Tunisia in the central Mediterranean; 
  • Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Palestine, Syrian Arab Republic and Türkiye in the eastern Mediterranean;  
  • Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Italy, Montenegro and Slovenia in the Adriatic Sea. 


MedSea4Fish operates on the basis of co-financing mechanisms and in-kind contributions, and is envisaged as a multi-donor multi-partner initiative, allowing to multiply opportunities and synergies.  

MedSea4Fish is possible today thanks to the support of the European Commission, and will benefit from existing and new partnerships with a range of Mediterranean organisations and fora.  

The GFCM has made great strides in rallying support for making fisheries more sustainable, with funding showing more than a ten-fold increase over the last eight years – a sign of growing commitment to better manage and protect the Mediterranean Sea’s vital marine resources and the hundreds of thousands of people who depend on them.