General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean - GFCM

Euro-Mediterranean Ministers acknowledge the key role of FAO-GFCM in the region


The FAO Director General, José Graziano da Silva, the Ministers and representatives of countries in the European Union, the Balkans, North Africa and the Middle East, and several international and regional organizations – including the European Commission and Union for the Mediterranean – met in Palermo (Italy) on 28 November 2014 to attend the Euro-Mediterranean Conference on Agriculture, following the invitation by the Italian Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies, H.E. Maurizio Martina.

This conference was organized within the framework of the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and brought together ministers and heads of delegations of 27 countries to discuss and subsequently sign a declaration which not only recognizes the importance of multilateral cooperation, but also welcomes stronger agricultural and rural policies in the Euro-Mediterranean region.

While fully acknowledging the active role played by the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) in ensuring the long-term sustainability of living marine resources, as well as the sustainable development of aquaculture and protection of sensitive habitats, the Palermo Declaration recognizes the importance of promoting the growth of a "blue economy" in all Mediterranean countries.

Furthermore, the Declaration urges all countries to promote regional policy coordination within the framework of initiatives launched by FAO-GFCM and its partner organizations (CIHEAM, MedPAN, IUCN, UNEP-MAP, ACCOBAMS, WWF, Eurofish) to strengthen the role of the artisanal fisheries community and to actively participate in a regional programme for the development of sustainable artisanal coastal fisheries.

This Declaration represents a major step towards ensuring a sustainable future for fisheries and aquaculture in the region.

The full text of the Declaration is available here