This proposal is the third multi-annual plan that the Commission is putting forward since the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.
It is also the first ever in the Mediterranean and if fully implemented has the potential to increase stock by 20%. This will bring tangible improvements in the working conditions for fishermen, with an expected increase in salary of approximately 5% and profits of around 10%.
The plan marks a milestone in the Commission's approach to fisheries management, and shows that long-term viability of fisheries can still be made possible in a sea basin in which 93% of the fish stocks are assessed as over-exploited. Without this plan, anchovy and sardine stocks wold most likely collapse between 2020 and 2030.
The momentum for action has been growing since the beginning of 2016, with the launch of the Catania Process and the Commission's campaign MedFish4Ever to enhance concerted political ownership and improved governance in safeguarding vital shared fisheries resources in the region. The process has been a catalyst, with a series of high level discussions together with third countries, on the status of stocks and the need to step-up efforts and cooperation to restore healthy fisheries.
A Ministerial Conference will be organised in Malta, on 29 and 30 March which plans to adopt an ambitious ministerial Declaration by Fisheries Ministers of all Mediterranean countries. The “Malta MedFish4Ever Declaration” is expected to set clear objectives for the sustainability of Mediterranean fisheries.
Finally, Commissioner Vella had the opportunity to introduce the Our Ocean 2017 conference to Ministers. The Joint Communication on International Ocean Governance sets out a strong agenda for the future of our oceans.
As part of this work, the Commission will host the fourth Our Ocean Conference on 5 and 6 October 2017 in Malta. Just like previous editions, hosted by the US and Chile, this high-level conference will bring together key decision-makers of the international community.
The Commission will put more emphasis on ‘our oceans’ - the Mediterranean, the Atlantic and the Indian, as well as a focus on the themes of blue growth and maritime security.
Commissioner Vella invited the Ministers to actively participate towards the successful outcome of the conference.
Speech by Commissioner Vella: Adriatic small pelagics multi-annual plan
Speech by Commissioner Vella: Our Ocean 2017