General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean - GFCM

Commission - 33rd session

23 March 2009 - 27 March 2009

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The thirty-third session of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) was attended by 21 Contracting Parties. The Commission reviewed the intersessional activities of its scientific and technical subsidiary bodies and held the third session of its Compliance Committee. The GFCM adopted binding management decisions on a reduction of 10 percent of fishing effort for demersal trawl fisheries in the competence area, the establishment of a new Fisheries Restricted Area in the Gulf of Lions and the establishment of a minimum mesh size in the codend of demersal trawlnets. The GFCM also agreed to put into operation a vessel monitoring system by the end of 2012 and to establish a fleet register by the end of 2010. The Commission amended its Recommendations on the record of fishing vessels over 15 metres authorized to operate in the GFCM area, and on the establishment of a list of vessels presumed to have carried out illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Regarding data reporting, the Commission adopted new binding Recommendations for aquaculture and the implementation of the GFCM Task 1 statistical matrix. The GFCM further endorsed three Recommendations of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) on swordfish and bluefin tuna fisheries. The GFCM decided to establish a new Committee on Administration and Finance and agreed on modalities to undertake its performance review in 2009 and 2010. It agreed to create a new professional position within the Secretariat and adopted its 2009 budget and programme of work. The Commission renewed the bureau of its Compliance Committee and acknowledged the use for the first time of Arabic as working language. The GFCM addressed the issue of its new headquarters, in particular the possibility of the Secretariat to move into it preferably before the summer of 2009.