Small-scale fisheries to benefit from streamlined funding scheme under MedFish4ever declaration

The European Commission has pledged to support sustainable small-scale fisheries and aquaculture by streamlining funding schemes for local projects, as part of its commitment to preserving Mediterranean fish stocks

jeanelle_mifsud
Jeanelle Mifsud
30 March 2017, 2:28pm
Karmelu Vella signing the MedFish3Ever Declaration
Karmelu Vella signing the MedFish3Ever Declaration
The European Commission has pledged to support sustainable small-scale fisheries and aquaculture by streamlining funding schemes for local projects, as part of its commitment to preserving Mediterranean fish stocks.

The pledge was part of the Malta MedFish4Ever Declaration, which saw eight EU member states and seven third countries from the northern and southern coastlines come together to set out a detailed work programme for the next 10 years with regard to sustainability of resources.

Environment commissioner Karmenu Vella described the declaration as “history in the making.”

“In signing the Malta MedFish4Ever Declaration, we are affirming our political will to deliver tangible action: on fisheries and other activities that have an impact on fisheries resources, on the blue economy, on social inclusion, and on solidarity between the northern and southern shores of the Mediterranean.”

"We are leading by example by setting a detailed work programme for the next 10 years based on ambitious but realistic targets. But this regional approach means nothing if we cannot show our understanding for the everyday realities for over 300,000 fishermen in the 450 ports around the Mediterranean."

The declaration also seeks to eliminate illegal fishing by 2020 by ensuring that all states have the legal framework and the necessary human and technical capabilities to meet their control and inspection responsibilities.

The General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) will lead the development of national control and sanctioning systems, after, according to Vella, having adopted a record number of recommendations to make fishing resources more sustainable.

Speaking after Vella in a press conference, parliamentary secretary for agriculture, fisheries and animal rights, Roderick Galdes said that the government viewed the Mediterranean as a vital resource that needs to be protected so that it can be enjoyed bygenerations to come.

“This is a very important day for fisheries management in the Mediterranean. Today’s declarations marks a very important turning point and has the potential to replenish our seas and guarantee a lucrative future for small scale artisanal Mediterranean fishermen … We have established a roadmap for years to come,” he said.

The declaration is the result of a European Commission-led process that started in Catania, Sicily in February 2016. Countries who participated in the declaration include Spain, France, Italy, Malta, Slovenia, Croatia, Greece, Cyprus, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Turkey, Albania and Montenegro.