General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean - GFCM

Driving sustainable change in the Mediterranean: MedFish4Ever Conference ramps up commitments for the future of fisheries and aquaculture

A high-level event on fisheries and aquaculture that closed today has brought us a step closer to a future where sustainability – environmental, economic and social – will drive the development of the sector in the Mediterranean.

The MedFish4Ever Conference brought together high-level officials, fishers, fish farmers, scientists, managers, civil society organizations and other experts to survey the state of the vital fisheries and aquaculture sector and agree on transformative new actions towards a sustainable future. Senior government officials from 20 countries were in attendance.

The event, hosted by the Government of Malta and organized by the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) together with the European Union, focused on the progress that has been made and the need for new solutions to address the challenges that have emerged since the signing of the 2017 MedFish4Ever Ministerial Declaration. This landmark regional agreement between Mediterranean countries set a ten-year vision towards the sustainability and welfare of the fisheries and aquaculture sector, as well as the conservation of Mediterranean precious marine ecosystems and the services they provide.

Read our press release on the conference

What is the MedFish4Ever declaration?

Signed in March 2017, the MedFish4Ever declaration is a joint commitment by nations in the region to take decisive steps over the next decade to improve the management and governance of their fisheries. MedFish4Ever aims to secure the long-term environmental, economic and social sustainability of Mediterranean fisheries through:

  • Enhancing research and data collection, so management efforts are based on detailed and reliable science;
  • Curbing IUU fishing, which harms stocks, undermines data and distorts markets; while exacerbating socioeconomic problems on shore;
  • Improving social protection to reflect the risks and uncertainties of livelihoods in the sector, particularly in small-scale fisher communities;
  • Securing urgent funding for priority actions towards sustainable fisheries and aquaculture;
  • Sharing and spreading best fisheries management practices and technologies across the whole region.