A robust new strategy for sustainable fisheries and aquaculture in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea
The targets of the new 2030 Strategy of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) are in alignment with blue transformation, a pillar of FAO’s new Strategic Framework
9 July 2021, Rome - An ambitious commitment adopted today by 22 countries plus the European Union aims to secure a sustainable future for fisheries and aquaculture in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.
FAO Director-General QU Dongyu opened the launch event, highlighting the strategy’s alignment with FAO’s new Strategic Framework and its importance in these challenging times. The strategy’s launch took place at a virtual meeting, bringing together ministers and high-level representatives from Mediterranean and Black Sea countries.
The launch of the 2030 Strategy of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) comes with the backing of many inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations and marks the beginning of a critical decade of development for the two sectors.
“The COVID-19 pandemic hit fisheries and aquaculture activities in the Mediterranean and Black Sea hard, with substantial decreases in operations, production and drastic drops in prices for aquatic products,” Qu said. “In building back, we must ensure that recovery efforts focus on the long-term sustainability and resilience of the sector.”
Qu commended the GFCM for helping Members address the significant challenges that Mediterranean and Black Sea fisheries currently face. He noted that the new 2030 GFCM Strategy will play a key role in addressing them further, as well as in protecting livelihoods derived from small-scale fisheries. He also highlighted FAO’s readiness to support the efforts of the GFCM, including through its COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programme. The Director-General stated that the new FAO Strategic Framework for the next decade provides a clear path to sustainably transform all agri-food systems - including fisheries and aquaculture - to make them more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable.
In his speech, Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, stressed the need for countries to continue working together to protect their seas and oceans, while Foteini Arampatzi, Greece’s Deputy Minister for Rural Development and Food, highlighted the impact of COVID-19 before officially declaring the event open.
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