FAO, overfishing in the Mediterranean and Black Sea
Stronger management measures are urgently needed for 73% of commercial species
09, Dec 2022
Over the last decade, overfishing has declined dramatically in the Mediterranean and Black Seas. That's the good news; the bad news is that the exploitation of the more commercial species is still far from being sustainable. This is what we read in a report by the GFCM (General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean), the General Commission for Fisheries in the Mediterranean which belongs to the FAO, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Indeed, the latest edition of the report "Fishing status in the Mediterranean and Black Sea" records a decrease in the excessive exploitation of resources in the area, especially with reference to the most important species, from sole of the Adriatic to European hake, which are subject to multilateral management plans. Despite this, 73% of commercial species are still affected by overfishing, while fishing pressure, although decreasing over time, continues to be double the volume considered sustainable.
"In the Strategy for 2030, the members of the GFCM have set new objectives to address this criticality - explains Miguel Bernal, executive secretary of the recently appointed GFCM -. They are aware that it is essential to reverse the trend of decline of aquatic resources, so as essential is to link the results relating to profitability with those relating to sustainability. The new strategy offers an ambitious vision and requires a more courageous collective commitment than in the past".
"In the Mediterranean and Black Seas -adds Bernal- fishing generates annual revenues of 2.9 billion dollars and is estimated to create half a million jobs along the entire value chain. On average, one for every 1,000 inhabitants of the areas coasts of the region is a fisherman: in some coastal areas, the figure can be up to ten times greater.However, the workforce is ageing.In 2020, more than half of all crews were over 40, while young people aged under the age of 25 were only 10 percent. According to the most recent data contained in the report, the phenomenon is worsening".