The Malta Independent 4 December 2021, Saturday

Regional action plan for small scale fisheries in Med, Black Sea launched in Malta

Wednesday, 26 September 2018, 13:49 Last update: about 4 years ago

The General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) has signed a regional action plan to address issues facing small-scale fisheries in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights Clint Camilleri announced at a press conference in Valletta.

The GCFM is composed of 17 countries from surrounding the Mediterranean basin, including both EU member states and Northern African countries.

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The plan was agreed upon by Malta, Cyprus, Greece, Albania, Georgia, Croatia, Montenegro, Romania, Italy, Morocco, Spain, Algeria, Bulgaria, France, Lebanon, Libya, Slovenia and Turkey

The plan has set out nine common objectives for the region which includes the collection of research and data from fisheries and marine biologists; management measures such as initiatives to support investments in the sector, and the  processing and pricing of fresh fish; greater participation of fisheries in the decision making to provide direct action; the role of woman in the industry; and the importance of addressing climate change issues and the environment.

Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries Clint Camilleri stressed the importance of small-scale fisheries in Malta, which he said made up roughly 98% of all fishing done in Malta and Gozo.

Also highlighting fisheries traditional role in communities, Camilleri said that the government has always been committed to improving the livelihoods of those in the industry.

European Commissioner for Environment, Fisheries, and Maritime Affairs Karmenu Vella said that plan, which covers a ten year period, was the first of its kind and will be based upon implementing a social based approach. He also added that while improvements have been made, more still needed to be done to ensure sustainability.

Vella said that “for millennia, small-scale fisheries have been rooted in our coastal communities, in the rich diversity of our cultures. Without them, our efforts to keep fish stocks healthy and secure would be in vain. I welcome wholeheartedly our Small Scale Fisheries Regional Plan of Action for the Mediterranean and Black Sea, which will set in motion our work to sustain the livelihood of the smallest and most vulnerable fisheries over the next 10 years. The work of transforming words on paper into action on the ground begins now.”

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