Crucial step towards building a culture of compliance
Split, Croatia, November 10, 2023:– NGOs today commended the decision by Mediterranean states to create a sanction system that will empower the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) to take action against countries which continue overfishing or illegal fishing, calling it “a crucial step towards building a culture of compliance, which is essential to start rebuilding Mediterranean fish populations”.
A Call to Action for the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean
Taking decisive action to end bottom trawling in the Mediterranean Sea in areas where it is already banned, and hence considered illegal, should be a top priority for all GFCM Contracting Parties responsible for promoting sustainable fisheries and protecting marine biodiversity. First, it is vital to recognise that not only is illegal bottom trawling taking place in the Mediterranean, but this destructive practice is putting ecosystems and livelihoods at risk, and that many protection measures currently exist only “on paper” – i.e., without full enforcement. Second, urgent steps must be taken to end illegal bottom trawling by strengthening transparency, compliance, and the enforcement of GFCM measures.To help accelerate government action, several member organisations of the Med Sea Alliance (MSA) have joined forces toexamine and expose illegal bottom trawling and recommend concrete solutions to both national authorities and the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM).