EU promotes sustainable fisheries in the Mediterranean at high-level conference on MedFish4Ever initiatives

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.

Source: DG MARE

Coast Guard Experts discuss burning issues in the Mediterranean

Illegal migration, fisheries control, maritime surveillance, environmental protection, oil spill response are just some of the challenges the coast guards have to deal with in their daily work. The eighth Mediterranean Coast Guard Functions Forum plenary meeting held in Casablanca on 12-13 May 2019, addressed some of these issues and highlighted the importance of close cooperation among Coast Guards.

Representatives from the participant countries (Croatia, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malta, Monaco, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey) and organisations (European Commission, EFCA, EMSA, Frontex, INTERPOL) agreed on the need to adopt a common approach in enforcing international conventions and instruments.  The first step is to share information and best practices among European Coast Guard Functions Forum, Black Sea Cooperation forum, Atlantic Coast Guard Forum and Asian Coast Guard Agencies. A useful cooperation tool would be to develop guidelines to better support the implementation of sea basin and sub sea-basin strategies and initiatives.

Knowledge is best spread though participating in trainings and exchange programs organised by national maritime authorities in the region. A dedicated workshop on multipurpose operations will be co-organised with the EU coast Guard Agencies in spring 2020.

Source: DG MARE