General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean - GFCM

MedFish4Ever awards on innovative practices in fisheries and aquaculture

In the context of the GFCM High-level conference on MedFish4Ever initiatives: Transformative actions to address new challenges, awards will be given to recognize outstanding innovative practices in the fields of fishing technology, aquaculture, and the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

The main objective of the MedFish4Ever awards is to promote innovation and creativity as drivers of sustainability in the fisheries and aquaculture sector


All interested stakeholders (organizations, national administrations, private companies, research centers and individuals) are welcome to submit proposals


Proposals should be submitted through the

Online form


The deadline for submission is:
11 September 2023

Award categories

Category 1 Innovation in fishing technology, including gear selectivity, adaptation to climate change and decarbonization of the fishing fleet

The Mediterranean is host to a large number of marine species, found in different geographical regions and habitats. This biodiversity supports a highly diversified fishing sector, characterized by a wide range of fishing gear and methods targeting several species, resulting in a mixed composition of catches and a highly diversified fleet structure. As fisheries and the marine environment face growing pressure from climate change, it is critical that action is taken to manage their long-term sustainability.

Innovative practices eligible for consideration under this category are those that address the consequences of climate change, for example through cutting-edge methods to decarbonize the fishing fleet or to manage non-indigenous species. They may also include solutions that promote safety and efficiency of fisheries operations, including but not limited to better selectivity (e.g. to mitigate discards or incidental catches of vulnerable species), better quality of the catch, reduction of food loses and enhanced value chains, etc.

Category 2 Novel research in aquaculture operations

Although aquaculture has been practiced since ancient times, it has only grown exponentially in the past decades, following advancements in operations and technology. The development of aquaculture, and in particular marine aquaculture, calls for novel technologies and practices that will transform its growth and ensure its environmental, social, and economic sustainability.

Innovative practices eligible for consideration under this category include research on information systems and artificial intelligence, innovative and climate-smart operations and management, restorative aquaculture, feeding, biosecurity, and the welfare of farmed aquatic species towards ensuring the sustainable intensification and expansion of Mediterranean and Black Sea aquaculture.

Category 3 New technologies and/or methodologies in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing

Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing poses a significant threat to the sustainability of fisheries and marine ecosystems and related control measures need enhancement. Research, partnership and stakeholder engagement, and sustainable practices are vital in driving innovation and shaping effective strategies to combat IUU fishing.

Innovative practices eligible for consideration under this category include monitoring and reporting systems, participative surveillance, effective enforcement strategies, certification and traceability systems, marking of fishing gear. They may also feature new technologies in satellite-based monitoring and tracking systems, drones, artificial intelligence, remote sensing, data analytics, and community-based monitoring to improve control measures.

Evaluation process

Proposals will be screened against a series of criteria under the three categories described above, bearing in mind geographic representation and type of innovation. An independent evaluation committee will review the proposals and select award winners.

Award ceremony

Awards will be granted during a ceremony on the evening of 3 October 2023 as part of the GFCM High-level conference on MedFish4Ever initiatives (Malta, exact location to be confirmed).

Winners will receive a prize, that includes support for the participation at the GFCM Forum on Fisheries Science in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea (FishForum 2024) for categories 1 and 3, and at the International Symposium on fisheries and aquatic sciences (SOFAS 2023) for category 2, giving winners the opportunity to showcase their innovative practices.

Submit your proposal