European Union ministers and riparian third countries adopted an ambitious 10-year Regional Action Plan for sustainable small-scale fisheries in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.

The agreement was reached during the High Level Conference on sustainable small-scale fisheries in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, co-organised by FAO’s General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) and Malta, with the financial support of the European Commission.

“Fisheries in the Mediterranean and Black Seas are predominantly small and family-run,” said Commissioner Karmenu Vella, responsible for the Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs. “But at the moment, they are facing serious challenges as more than 90% of assessed fish stocks are overfished. We need to work side by side with small-scale fishermen if we want healthy and sustainable seas, so that fishermen families can continue using their traditional source of living for generations ahead.”

According to a Commission press release, the High Level Conference a new digital platform “Friends of Small-scale Fishermen” was launched at the High Level Conference. Partly financed by the EU, it is an easy-to-use mapping tool visualising all ongoing projects and investments in small-scale fisheries, and enhancing cooperation across the region.