The Agreement for the establishment of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), under the provisions of Article XIV of the FAO constitution, was approved by the FAO Conference in 1949 and entered into force in 1952. Amendments to this Agreement were approved in 1963, 1976 and 1997. The latter amendments were related to the change in name of GFCM previously "General Fisheries Council for the Mediterranean" and to new obligations for the Contracting Parties including their contributions to an autonomous budget for the functioning of the Commission. These new obligations came into force on 29 April 2004. Functions
Consisting of 23 Member countries along with the European Union, the GFCM’s objectives are to promote the development, conservation, rational management and best utilization of living marine resources, as well as the sustainable development of aquaculture in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and connecting waters. Membership is open to both Mediterranean coastal states and regional economic organizations as well as to United Nations member states whose vessels engage in fishing in Mediterranean waters.
In cooperation with other Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs), the GFCM is instrumental in coordinating efforts by governments to effectively manage fisheries at regional level following the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.The GFCM has the authority to adopt binding recommendations for fisheries conservation and management in its Convention Area and plays a critical role in fisheries governance in the Region.
The GFCM holds its regular session annually. It implements its policy and activities through the Secretariat, based at its headquarters in Rome, Italy, and operates during the intersessional period by means of its committees, namely the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), the Committee on Aquaculture (CAQ), the Compliance Committee (CoC), the Committee of Administration and Finance (CAF) and their respective subsidiaries. The GFCM also enjoys the support of cooperative projects at sub-regional and regional level which enhance, in particular, scientific cooperation and capacity building in participating countries in line with GFCM priorities and strategies. In addition, the Commission cooperates closely with other international organizations in matters of mutual interest.
The purpose of the Commission shall be to promote the development, conservation, rational management and best utilization of living marine resources, as well as the sustainable development of aquaculture in the Region. In particular, the Commission has the following responsibilities:
Area of competence
- to keep under review the state of the Mediterranean living resources, including their abundance and the level of their exploitation, as well as the state of the fisheries based thereon;
- to formulate and recommend, appropriate measures: (i) for the conservation and rational management of living marine resources; and (ii) for the implementation of these recommendations;
- to keep under review the economic and social aspects of the fishing industry and recommend any measures aimed at its development;
- to encourage, recommend, coordinate and, as appropriate, undertake training and extension activities in all aspects of fisheries;
- to encourage, recommend, coordinate and, as appropriate, undertake research and development activities, including cooperative projects in the areas of fisheries and the protection of living marine resources;
- to assemble, publish or disseminate information regarding exploitable living marine resources and fisheries based on these resources;
- to promote programmes for marine and brackish water aquaculture and coastal fisheries enhancement;
- to carry out such other activities as may be necessary for the Commission to achieve its purpose as defined above.
Mediterranean, Black Sea and connecting waters.
Launch the Regional Fishery Bodies (RFBs) Map Viewer Members
Member: Albania, Algeria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, European Union, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Turkey. Species and stocks coverage All living marine resources in the area covered by GFCM. Legal Framework Established within the framework of Article XIV of the FAO Constitution. Approved at the Fifth Session of the FAO Conference in 1949. The Agreement entered into force on 20 February 1952. Amended in 1963, 1976 and 1997.
LanguagesArabic, English, French, Spanish
- The Agreement En | Fr
- Rules of Procedures En | Fr
- Financial Regulations En | Fr
- The Status En | Fr
Organigram The GFCM implements its policy and activities through the Secretariat and operates during the intersessional period by means of the following committees:
The Commission also establishes, as appropriate, temporary, special or standing committees to study and report on matters pertaining to the purposes of the Commission and working parties to study and recommend on specific technical issues.
- Committee on Aquaculture (CAQ): established in 1995
- Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC): established in 1997
- Compliance Committee (CoC): established in 2006
- Committee on Administration and Finance (CAF): established in 2009
The GFCM also benefits from the support of cooperative projects at sub-regional and regional level.
GFCM Organigram StructureCommission
Commission membership is open to Members of the United Nations, especially coastal States, States whose vessels engage in fishing in the Convention Area as well as to Regional Economic Integration Organizations. Bureau
The Commission normally holds its Regular Session on an annual basis and convenes special sessions, as appropriate, at the request or with the approval of the majority of the Members. It seeks to promote the conservation and rational management of living marine resources through, inter alia, drawing up binding measures related to the regulation of fishing methods, fishing gear and minimum landing sizes, together with the establishment of open and closed fishing seasons and areas. It also strives to implement a fishing effort control regime by Operational Units through the regulation of catch and fishing effort and their allocation among Members.
Sessions of the Commission are attended by delegates, their alternates, experts and advisers. Each Member has the right to one vote except in the case of a Regional Economic Integration Organization (REIO) which is entitled to the number of votes equal to the number of its Member States which are also Members of the Commission. Competence and voting power over specific Session issues are indicated by REIOs prior to the Session; REIOs cannot exercise their votes when their Member States exercise theirs and vice versa.
|Chairperson||Mr Stefano CATAUDELLA||Italy||May 2011|
|1st Vice-Chairperson||Ms Esra Fatma DENIZCI TOSLAK||Turkey||May 2013|
|2nd Vice-Chairperson||Mr Philippe FERLIN||France||May 2011|
|Executive Secretary|| Mr Abdellah SROUR |
|Senior aquaculture officer / CAQ backstopping officer|| Mr Fabio MASSA |
|Fishery resources officer / SAC backstopping officer|| Mr Miguel BERNAL|
|Legal and institutional officer / CoC backstopping officer|| Mr Nicola FERRI |
|Information Management Officer|| Ms Pilar HERNANDEZ|
|Data compliance officer|| Mr Federico DE ROSSI |
|Scientific editing / translation officer|| Ms Dominique BOURDENET |
|Programme associate|| Ms Claudia ESCUTIA |
|Programmer / system analyst|| Mr Roberto EMMA |
|Office assistant|| Ms Merieme IHIRI |
|Administrative clerk|| Ms Florence DICKENS |
|Liaison consultant|| Ms Margherita SESSA |
|Aquaculture and small-scale fisheries consultant|| Mr Davide FEZZARDI|
|Environment consultant|| Ms Aurora NASTASI|
Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) Mandate
Provide independent advice on the technical and scientific bases for decisions concerning fisheries conservation and management, including biological, social and economic aspects, in particular:
- assess information provided by Members and relevant fisheries organizations or programmes on catches, fishing efforts, and other data relevant to the conservation and management of fisheries;
- formulate advice to the Commission on the conservation and management of fisheries;
- identify cooperative research programmes and coordinate their implementation;
- undertake such other functions or responsibilities as may be conferred by the Commission.
SAC operates through five subsidiary bodies:
- Coordination Meeting of the Sub-Committees (CMSC)
- Sub-Committee on Stock Assessment (SCSA)
- Sub-Committee on Marine Environment and Ecosystems (SCMEE)
- Sub-Committee on Statistics and Information (SCSI)
- Sub-Committee on Economic and Social Sciences (SCESS)
|Chairperson||Mr Othman JARBOUI||Tunisia||February 2014|
|1st Vice-Chairperson||Ali Cemal GÜCÜ ||Turkey||February 2014|
|2nd Vice-Chairperson||Ms Capucine MELLON ||France||February 2014|
Committee on Aquaculture (CAQ) Mandate
|SCSA||Mr Francesco COLLOCA||Italy||May 2013|
|SCMEE||Mr Federico ALVAREZ PRADO||Spain||April 2010|
|SCSI||Mr Alaa Eldin EL-HAWEET||Egypt||May 2013|
|SCESS||Mr Scander BEN SALEM||Tunisia||May 2013|
Monitor trends and promote the sustainable development and responsible management of marine and brackish water aquaculture in the region, and provide independent advice on the technical, socio-economic, legal and environmental bases for common standards, norms and guidelines and decisions for consideration by the Commission, in particular:
- assess information provided by Members and relevant aquaculture related stakeholders or programmes on production statistics, market data, culture systems, technologies used, farmed species, and maintain related databases, including relevant socio-economic, environmental, biotic and abiotic indicators;
- promote the formulation of common standards and guidelines on sustainable development and responsible management of aquaculture;
- identify cooperative research and training programmes and coordinate their implementation;
- carry out other duties, functions or responsibilities related to aquaculture promotion as be conferred by the Commission.
CAQ operates through five subsidiary bodies:
- Coordination Meeting of the Working Groups (CMWG)
- Working Group on Marketing
- Working Group on Sustainability Indicators
- Working Group on Siting and Carrying Capacity
- Information System for the Promotion of Aquaculture in the Mediterranean (SIPAM)
Working Group on the Black Sea (WGBS)
|Chairperson||Mr Francois RENÈ||France||February 2011|
|1st Vice-Chairperson||Mr Pablo AVILA ||Spain||February 2011|
|2nd Vice-Chairperson||Mr Houssam HAMZA ||Tunisia||February 2013|
Compliance Committee (COC) Mandate
|Coordinator||Mr Simion NICOLAEV||Romania||May 2012|
|1st Vice-Coordinator||Mr Violin RAYKOV||Bulgaria||May 2012|
|2nd Vice-Coordinator|| Mr Ilhan AYDIN||Turkey||May 2013|
- review compliance with conservation and management measures adopted by the Commission and make such recommendations to the Commission as may be necessary to ensure their effectiveness;
- review the implementation of measures of monitoring, control, surveillance, and enforcement adopted by the Commission as may be necessary to ensure their effectiveness;
- define, develop and make recommendations to the Commission concerning the phased development and implementation of the GFCM Control and Inspection scheme;
- monitor, review and analyze information pertaining to the activities of Non-Contracting Parties and their vessels which undermine the objectives of the Agreement including, in particular, IUU fishing, and recommend actions to be taken by the Commission to discourage such activities;
- perform such other tasks as directed by the Commission.
Committee of Administration and Finance (CAF)
|Chairperson||Mr Samir MAJDALANI||Lebanon||May 2011|
|1st Vice-Chairperson||Mr Josip MARKOVIC||Croatia||May 2012|
|2nd Vice-Chairperson|| Ms Samia LOUNIS ABBOUN||Algeria||May 2013|
- review administrative matters relating to the Executive Secretary and his staff and make appropriate recommendations to the Commission;
- review compliance with the rules of procedures and financial rules;
- review the implementation of the budget adopted at the previous session of the Commission and analyse and make recommendations on the draft budget to be adopted at the current session of the Commission; and
- perform such other administration and financial matters as may be referred to it by the Commission.
Activities and meetingsMeetings Publications Publications
|Chairperson||Mr Hachemi MISSAOUI||Tunisia||May 2011|
|1st Vice-Chairperson||Ms Aleksandar JOKSIMOVIC||Montenegro||May 2011|
|2nd Vice-Chairperson||Ms Mimoza COBANI||Albania||May 2013|