The Conference was organised by the FAO and the GFCM with the support of Romania, ACCOBAMS, Eurofish, the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution and Black Sea Economic Cooperation, and with the financial support of the European Commission.
The conference brought together a number of experts and high-level representatives from the countries washed by the Black Sea, the European Commission, international organisations and even some non-riparian countries. Discussions covered issues such as the knowledge of Black Sea living marine resources and their ecosystems, the efforts on assessment and eradication of illegal fishing and the status and future prospects of responsible aquaculture in the Black Sea.
The conference adopted a declaration that underlines the need for common and collaborative approaches among riparian states to address fisheries issues and implement the mid-term strategy for the sustainability of Mediterranean and Black Sea fisheries recently adopted by GFCM, the sustainable development of aquaculture, closer collaboration on scientific advice, sustainable small-scale fisheries, capacity building and actions emanating from a Regional Plan of Action to fight IUU fishing.
Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella commented: "I commend the initiative taken by Black Sea countries to initiate robust action on fisheries problems in the area. The EU stands ready to support this process and offer solutions on both fisheries management and blue growth. The sustainability of this basin is important and we will keep pushing for progress."
The European Commission support the conclusions of this High Level Conference as they fall within the EU strategy to reverse the decline of fish stocks in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It might consider convening a dedicated conference in the future to further consolidate joint efforts.