Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, who is representing the Commission at the conference, said: “Fisheries are a source of food and livelihoods for thousands in the Mediterranean. This is why two years ago, together with our partners, we delivered the MedFish4Ever Declaration setting political commitments to turn around the struggling and critical state of most fish stocks. We have made significant and concrete progress towards delivering our ambition to achieve sustainable fisheries. We must keep up the direction and the speed, committing to do even more in the coming years”.
Adopted in 2017, the Declaration sets in motion a new drive towards sustainable development of Mediterranean fisheries and aquaculture. Riparian countries have committed to a roadmap with concrete actions for the coming 10 years, and significant progress has since been achieved, including ambitious fisheries management measures, protection of biodiversity, improved research and control, and a stepped-up fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU). All these achievements were possible thanks to close regional cooperation as well as to the reinforced capacities in the EU and in the neighbouring countries of the Mediterranean region. Despite improvements in fisheries management, the Mediterranean remains in a critical state and further action is urgently needed to secure the future of fishing communities. In order not to lose momentum, the high-level conference will take stock of the common achievements and renew the commitment to live up to the full promises of MedFish4Ever.