Regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs) are international organisations formed by countries with fishing interests in an area. Some of them manage all the fish stocks found in a specific area, while others focus on particular highly-migratory species, notably tuna, throughout vast geographical areas.
The organisations are open both to countries in the region (“coastal states”) and countries with interests in the fisheries concerned. While some regional fisheries bodies (RFBs) have a purely advisory role, RFMOs have management powers to set catch and fishing effort limits, technical measures, and control obligations, that are binding on their members.
The EU, represented by the European Commission, plays an active role in 6 tuna and 11 non-tuna RFMOs or RFBs.
The EU also participates in two RFMOs which have a purely advisory status:
The EU also follows the works of the Southwest Indian Ocean Fisheries Commission (SWIOFC) as an observer. In 2018, the EU requested to become a Member to the North Pacific Fisheries Commission (NPFC).
Regulation (EU) No 1343/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 2011 on certain provisions for fishing in the GFCM (General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean) Agreement area and amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1967/2006 concerning management measures for the sustainable exploitation of fishery resources in the Mediterranean Sea
Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on External Dimension of the Common Fisheries Policy - COM/2011/424
Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament Community - participation in Regional Fisheries Organisations (RFOs) - COM/1999/0613
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Legislation related to multilateral agreements (EUR-Lex)
Illegal fishing (IUU)
Participation in Regional Fisheries Organisations (summaries of legislation)
Today the Commission published its proposal setting out catch limits for fish stocks in the Atlantic and the North Sea. Based on this proposal, EU fisheries ministers will set the final catch limits at the Council on 15-16 December, to apply as of 1 January 2021.
Featured on social media: 'Oceanets' working on recycling technologies for discarded, lost, or abandoned fishing gears, 'Aqualit' a project working with the aquaculture industry to prevent litter from entering the sea, 'BlueNet' recovering fishing gear from the sea and using it as raw material to manufacture new gear, 'Fishing for litter' encouraging fishermen to take ashore the litter they encounter at sea, and 'NETtag' developing devices to track lost fishing gear.
Miquel Ferrés from Palamós, Catalonia, is a fisherman and a keen sportsman. While fishing on his trawler, he came to realise that his nets were collecting the same kind of litter that he would see on the beach during his running sessions. He decided to take action for the well-being of the seas by combining two of his great interests: doing sports and taking care of the marine environment.