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 RFMOs have a purely advisory role, most have management powers to set catch and fishing effort limits, technical measures, and control obligations. The EU, represented by the Commission, plays an active role in six tuna organisations and 11 non-tuna organisation.
The EU also participates in two RFMOs which have a purely advisory status:
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