Significant Decisions in General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (9-14 May 2011, Rome)
The 35th session of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), took place between 9 and 14 May 2011 at the FAO headquarters in Rome. It was attended by delegates from 22 Members, as well as observers from non-GFCM Member nations and representatives from intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations.
Several issues were addressed and agreed during the Session. It was decided to set up a Task Force towards a possible revision of the GFCM agreement, of rules of procedure and the implementation of financial rules. This work should further enable GFCM to fulfil, in an efficient and effective manner, its obligations for the effective implementation of precautionary approach and ecosystem approach to fisheries management, including relevant compliance and enforcement mechanisms. The conclusions of the works of the Task Force shall be presented ahead of the next annual Session.
More ambitious measures were put forward by the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), as well as some proposals related to fisheries and aquaculture management and governance in the Mediterranean and Black Sea.
The European Union presented four proposals, resulting in the adoption of respective recommendations:
- on the exploitation of red coral in the GFCM area,
- on reducing incidental by-catch of seabirds in fisheries in the GFCM area,
- on the by-catch of sea turtles in fisheries in the GFCM area and
- on fisheries measures for the conservation of the Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) in the GFCM area.
An amendment to Recommendation GFCM/34/2010/1 concerning the establishment of a GFCM logbook was also agreed, including the criteria for the codification of the rectangles in the statistical grid.
The need for a greater involvement of GFCM in the field of aquaculture, as well as the need to reinforce fisheries governance and scientific cooperation in the Black Sea was also addressed o CFCM members during the Session.
The election of the Bureau and the Executive Secretary of GFCM took place. The GFCM budget has been slightly increased allowing the stabilization of certain posts in the GFCM structure.
All delegations showed an increased commitment to work together towards more ambitious results with regard to sustainable exploitation of fisheries in the future.