General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean - GFCM

An international day for the fight against IUU fishing now on UN Agenda


Rome, Italy – The General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) is excited to announce that 2018 is the first year the world will observe an official day promoting awareness of the need to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. This new international day will be celebrated on 5 June, following a recent decision by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

The GFCM has long advocated for the need of increased awareness on IUU fishing, considering the magnitude of the problem. It is indeed recognized that IUU fishing activities seriously undermine fisheries management around the world, including in the GFCM area of application comprising the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Globally, IUU fishing is believed to represent up to 20 percent of total catches. Curbing IUU fishing is therefore a priority for the GFCM, which has included it among the five targets of the Mid-term strategy (2017–2020) towards the sustainability of Mediterranean and Black Sea fisheries.

The GFCM brought a critical contribution to the FAO-led process through which the proposal for an IUU Day was put forth for adoption by UNGA. The date is a significant one as it was on 5 June 2016 that the Port State Measures Agreement officially entered into force as the first international treaty designed to end IUU fishing worldwide.

“We are extremely pleased to now have such an important arena to raise awareness about IUU fishing and its devastating consequences,” said Abdellah Srour, GFCM Executive Secretary. “We are confident that observing this international day will help strengthen efforts and collaborations in support of our mandate, which is to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of marine living resources,” he added.

The GFCM stands ready to celebrate the International Day for the fight against IUU fishing on 5 June.

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