General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean - GFCM

The General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean and the Black Sea (GFCM) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) organized a “High-level Conference on Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Mediterranean and Black Sea” (Malta, 25-26 September 2018). This event represented the culmination of work carried out in recent years, seeking to elicit political will and concrete action to support small-scale fisheries in the region.

Approximately 240 participants from 30 countries gathered at the conference to discuss progress made in recent years and solutions to support the small-scale fisheries sector.

The meeting consisted of a day dedicated to stakeholder discussions (25 September 2018) followed by a high-level event (26 September 2018).

During the first day, lively stakeholder discussions took place, and fishers and fisher organization actively participated in the debate on key topics such as the role small-scale fishers in supporting scientific research, improving small-scale fisher livelihoods and enhancing the value chain, promoting social development and decent work, supporting the role of women, co-management and strengthening the role of small-scale fisher organizations, monitoring, control and surveillance of small-scale fisheries. 

On the second day, select cases of best practices with potential to be replicated within and outside the region received awards during an official ceremony. On this occasion, the regional platform “Friends of SSF” was also officially launched. This regional network of actors sharing common interests and objectives in the sector is aimed at promoting transnational cooperation and building synergies among ongoing work.  

Most importantly, the high-level representatives from 18 Mediterranean and Black Sea countries as well as the European Union signed a Ministerial Declaration aimed at implementing a Regional Plan of Action for Small-Scale Fisheries in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea (RPOA-SSF). This declaration took shape at the end of a long process involving all stakeholders. It is a historic step for the region and a concrete commitment to ensure the long-term environmental, economic and social sustainability for small-scale fisheries within the next decade.

The conference could be followed in livestreaming in English, French and Spanish. Livestreaming was ensured on Day 1 for the whole day and on Day 2 until 10.30 am.

The signed Ministerial Declaration is available here: RPOA-SSF Declaration

A video on the RPOA-SSF is available here: video



@FAO/Amico C.