Skip to main content

Mediterranean and Black Sea fisheries are turning the corner on overexploitation Major report issued

Black Sea and Mediterranean fish stocks

A new report from the FAO shows that while most fish stocks remain overexploited, the number of stocks subject to overfishing has decreased for the first time in decades. This was announced from FAO HQ in Rome in mid-December. Readers are invited to see the full report here: http://www.fao.org/documents/card/en/c/cb2429en

After decades of increasing human pressures on the Mediterranean and Black Sea marine ecosystems and fisheries resources, the latest data suggest that a corner is finally being turned on overexploitation of the region's vital fish stocks.

According to a new report on the State of Mediterranean and Black Sea Fisheries (SoMFi 2020), released on 14 December, while 75% of fish stocks remain subject to overfishing, this percentage fell by more than 10% between 2014 and 2018. Exploitation ratios are down by a similar proportion. Taking into account newly assessed stocks, the number of fish stocks with high relative biomass has doubled since the last edition published in 2018.

The SoMFI report is published biennially by the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) – an FAO statutory body which operates under FAO Governing Bodies. The report has been produced by FAO staff within the GFCM Secretariat with the collaboration of select experts and on the basis of the data sent by fisheries administrations along the Mediterranean and Black Sea as well as the analysis carried out by the technical statutory bodies of the GFCM.

While most of the stocks remain overexploited it is understood that this is the first time in decades that the GFCM has been able to report some positive trends.

Important examples of improvement amongst priority stocks include European hake, which is displaying signs of recovery in the Mediterranean, and Black Sea turbot, which has seen a decline in its exploitation ratio as its spawning stock biomass has continued to rebuild over the past four years.

In the words of Abdellah Srour, GFCM Executive Secretary: ‘Thanks to the commitment of GFCM members and experts to addressing existing challenges, for the first time we can say that some positive signals are finally emerging in the sector" said. "While we know there is a lot more work still to be done before the region's fisheries are on a sustainable footing, we are pleased that we have begun to reverse some of the most worrying trends.’

Islem Ben Ayed, President of the Tunisian Association for the Development of Artisanal Fisheries said:  ‘Sustainable management does not just benefit the fish stocks. The sustainability of Mediterranean and Black Sea fisheries means sustaining jobs, ensuring healthy food and maintaining cultural heritage in our coastal communities for generations to come.’

A positive shift towards sustainable fisheries

Last November, ministers from the region reiterated their political commitment to achieving the objectives of the MedFish4Ever and Sofia Declaration to pursue an even higher level of ambition within the future GFCM Strategy (2021-2025) and to contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 14.

Some notable successes have been achieved now that national and regional management measures have had time to take effect. Ten multiannual fisheries management plans are now in place, involving more than 4 000 fishing vessels.

Socio-economic impacts of fisheries in the region

The report reveals the considerable extent to which Mediterranean and Black Sea fisheries contribute to regional economies by generating direct revenues, driving wider spending, and providing crucial jobs. The overall annual economic value of fisheries in the region is estimated at $9.4 billion.

Mediterranean and Black Sea fisheries provide 225,000 onboard jobs and are estimated to contribute livelihoods to a total of 785,000 people. In parts of some countries including Tunisia, Croatia, and Morocco, close to one in every 100 coastal residents is a fisher.

While small-scale fisheries make up most of the industry representing the overwhelming majority of fishing vessels (83%) and fishing-based jobs (57%) in the region, their share of the region’s total catch is only 15%.

Small-scale fishers generate less than 30% of total fisheries revenue, have uncertain livelihoods, and are most vulnerable to unforeseen problems or crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. They need more state support and a stronger social protection framework including access to unemployment insurance, the report says.  

The report also offers valuable insights into the state of current workforce in fisheries in the region. The sector is rapidly aging: almost half of workers are over 40 and only 17% are under 25 – a situation requiring proactive measures in order to ensure that a skilled workforce remains available.

In addition, the report highlights that building the resilience of fisheries will be evermore critical in the face of increasing pressure on the marine environment from climate change and human activities. The new publication serves as a valuable tool to guide action towards the sustainable future.

Our illustration (FAO ©) informs that the Coast Guard HQ for Lazio in Civitavecchia, Italy, monitors all fishing activities along the coast of Lazio, and carries out regular inspections to ensure that fishing vessels are properly licensed, that the equipment on board meets all regulations, and that the fish is properly labelled and identified when they are landed.

About GFCM

GFCM is a regional fisheries management organization operating under the framework of FAO, whose competence extends over all marine waters of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Its main objective is to ensure the conservation and the sustainable use of living marine resources, as well as the sustainable development of aquaculture.

GFCM Members include 23 contracting parties (Albania, Algeria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, European Union, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro,  Morocco, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey) and five cooperating non-contracting parties (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Jordan, Moldova, Ukraine).

Posted on: in:

Latest News & Events

Aids to Navigation (AtoN) have evolved over time.

As new technology emerges, asset managers have a large range of options and features to consider. This document identifies how clever AtoN design and functionality can help authorities reduce operational costs and improve the visibility of their connected devices.

Aids to Navigation (AtoN) play a pivotal role in maritime safety and extend much further than being the traffic lights of the sea.

We are a long way from the days of a traditional lighthouse whose kerosene lamp served as a simple warning of danger ahead.

The navigational tools available to mariners today are vast and they continue to evolve as new technologies are realized.

Types of AtoN

Congestion within the world’s ports and shipping channels continues to grow, with the maritime industry relying on AtoN to ensure navigational safety and to manage traffic conditions.

On 2 March the (UK) Maritime & Coastguard Agency issued the eleven-page document entitled: MIN 656 (M): Understanding the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on seafarer wellbeing.

This Marine Information Note (MIN) provides guidance for ship owners on the stressors which have been created or exacerbated by the conditions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and provides some mitigating strategies.

The document provides information on the potentially long-lasting and far-reaching impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on seafarer wellbeing. It provides guidance for ship owners on the stressors which have been created or exacerbated by the conditions throughout the pandemic and provides some mitigating strategies.

In this document the term ship owner is used in the sense that it is used in health and safety regulation, as the person responsible for the operation of the ship.

This is often the same organisation as the ‘company’ referred to in the ISM code.

Role of Harbour Master/ Port Operations Professional
Security
Port Call Optimisation
Ship image
Vessel Traffic Services
Safety
dock image
Emergency Management
Environment

Become a Member

Join the world’s premier professional body for harbour masters and receive up-to-date information on the industry and access to the members' area of the website.

Become a sponsor

Become a sponsor of the IHMA today and reap the benefits for your business:

  • Worldwide exposure
  • Prominence on the IHMA website
  • Instant access to your services and products for your existing and potential customers
  • Access to the key decision makers on marine operations in Ports – the Harbour Master
  • The opportunity to showcase your services and products at an international congress every two years

Be a part of the future of a vibrant, respected, professional and influential maritime organisation...IHMA

Download EHMC's Newsletter

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, ex vix insolens oportere accusamus, mea nulla aliquip virtute id, et commodo debitis voluptua mel. Vel ut doming scaevola, habemus gloriatur elaboraret ei pro.

Download archived

EHMC newsletter

Our Sponsors

Latest Events

Delivered virtually
Andreas Mai

The IHMA is pleased to present the first in its series of monthly webinars.

 

Simply click HERE to access the presentation.

 

Topic: Casualty Management - Collapsed Container Stacks on Board a 19K TEU Ship 
Speaker: Captain Andreas Mai, Harbour Master (rtd)
Session Chair: IHMA President, Captain Yoss Leclerc

Speaker Bio

Andreas is a former Master Mariner and was appointed Harbour Master for the port of Bremerhaven in 1996. In 2000 he also took over the position of Harbour Master at the port of Bremen. During his active time as Harbour Master and Director of the Governmental Port Authority, he chaired the 2004 IHMA Congress in Bremen and, for a few years, the European Harbour Masters’ Committee (EHMC). He retired from his duties at the end of last year after 24 years of service.   

 

Delivered virtually
webinar 3
Webinar 3

 

Delivered virtually: 30 Nov – 1 Dec 2020
Safety@SEa week 2020

INTERNATIONAL SAFETY@SEA 2020 WEBINAR SERIES

Join us at this year’s annual gathering of members of the international maritime community and top practitioners as we focus on the theme “Maritime Safety: New Normal, New Paradigms”.

Hear from keynote speakers from the International Maritime Organization,The Nautical Institute, BIMCO and the International Association of Classification Societies, as we discuss topics like seafarers’ mental health & wellness, ship safety and incidents, as well as ship management in the new normal across 4 sessions.

As part of MPA’s commitment to promoting safety at sea, registration for this event is free.

Delivered virtually: 5 – 10 October 2020 | 12 months access
IHMA Congress 2020

With the theme, "The Next Wave – Navigating Towards the Digital Future, the 12th biennial Congress will be delivered virtually from 5 - 10 October, 2020.

The Congress remains the key forum for IHMA members and the global ports sector to collaborate, network, share information, and provide updates on the latest industry technology and solutions.

This year, the IHMA Congress will be transformed into a virtual global community that regularly connects over 12months. All speakers, attendees, sponsors and exhibitors will have exclusive access to the Virtual IHMA Community for Global Port & Marine Operations.

The IHMA Congress Conference itself, including keynotes, technical presentations, panels and Q&A, will be broadcast via a premium event platform in October. The post-Congress Series Program, also to be hosted via the platform will the released shortly.

The 2020 IHMA Congress is an unparalleled opportunity for maritime businesses to showcase their services and for port marine professionals from around the world to network, share their experiences and update their professional knowledge.

Klaipeda, Lithuania
Baltic LNG & Gas forum

Capitalise on LNG and gas uptake in the Baltics

Creating greater energy security and independence. Meeting environmental regulations.

Join industry game changers who are altering the Baltic gas and LNG markets by providing greater energy security and meeting European climate change targets.

This block is broken or missing. You may be missing content or you might need to enable the original module.

Download the IHMA Constitution

The IHMA constitution sets out the establishment of a region of the IHMA, the committee role and authority, its formation and management.

Latest News & Events

Sealite White Paper Sealite White Paper

Aids to Navigation (AtoN) have evolved over time.

As new technology… FIND OUT MORE

long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on seafarer wellbeing Understanding the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on seafarer wellbeing

On 2 March the (UK) Maritime & Coastguard Agency issued the eleven-page document entitled: MIN 656 (M): Understanding the long-term impacts of… FIND OUT MORE

Latest News & Events

Aids to Navigation (AtoN) have evolved over time.

As new technology emerges, asset managers have a large range of options and features to consider. This document identifies how clever AtoN design and functionality can help authorities reduce operational costs and improve the visibility of their connected devices.

Aids to Navigation (AtoN) play a pivotal role in maritime safety and extend much further than being the traffic lights of the sea.

We are a long way from the days of a traditional lighthouse whose kerosene lamp served as a simple warning of danger ahead.

The navigational tools available to mariners today are vast and they continue to evolve as new technologies are realized.

Types of AtoN

Congestion within the world’s ports and shipping channels continues to grow, with the maritime industry relying on AtoN to ensure navigational safety and to manage traffic conditions.

On 2 March the (UK) Maritime & Coastguard Agency issued the eleven-page document entitled: MIN 656 (M): Understanding the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on seafarer wellbeing.

This Marine Information Note (MIN) provides guidance for ship owners on the stressors which have been created or exacerbated by the conditions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and provides some mitigating strategies.

The document provides information on the potentially long-lasting and far-reaching impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on seafarer wellbeing. It provides guidance for ship owners on the stressors which have been created or exacerbated by the conditions throughout the pandemic and provides some mitigating strategies.

In this document the term ship owner is used in the sense that it is used in health and safety regulation, as the person responsible for the operation of the ship.

This is often the same organisation as the ‘company’ referred to in the ISM code.