FAO and GFCM strive to deter IUU fishing in the Mediterranean and Black Sea

15 June 2015

From 20 to 24 April 2015, international experts met in in Marrakech, Morocco to discuss measures to deter IUU fishing during two working group meetings jointly organized by GFCM and FAO. The working groups discussed a range of possible solutions, strategies to include small-scale fishing vessels and raising international awareness about the negative impacts of IUU fishing worldwide

Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing is a global, multi-faceted issue that is threatening fishery resources and ecosystems, which as a result are suffering from overfishing, overexploitation and overcapacity.

The Mediterranean and the Black Sea are not spared from this phenomenon, where IUU fishing is a growing concern.

This important subject was recently debated at two working group meetings organized by GFCM (General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean) and FAO in Marrakech, Morocco, from 20 to 24 April 2015.

Thanks to the participation of a wide range of experts from GFCM members, international organizations (such as the Ministerial Conference on Fisheries Cooperation Among African States Bordering the Atlantic or ATLAFCO), and civil society organizations (including the Pew Charitable Trusts, MSC, MedReAct,), these discussions represented significant progress towards the implementation of a regional strategy against IUU fishing for the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, based on specific roadmaps already adopted by the GFCM.

The working groups discussed possible strategies to combat IUU fishing, with an understanding that it is crucial for strategies to take a multi-faceted approach in order to bring about a level playing field for all countries involved. A wide-range of strategies was proposed, ranging from scientific to technical as well as control-related measures. In particular, experts recognized the importance of Port State Measures, certification schemes and broader cooperation. Given the considerable role of small-scale fisheries in these bodies of water, the groups also examined recent technologies that would allow for the inclusion of monitoring Small-scale fishing vessels.

In parallel with these regulatory measures, the participants agreed on the importance of raising public awareness about the negative impacts of IUU fishing. As a result, the IUU working group proposed to proclaim the 24th of April as the “International day against IUU fishing” each year in order to mobilize organizations, stakeholders and the general public worldwide in the fight against IUU fishing.

For more info, see: