The GEF has endorsed two new projects to tackle overexploitation in the Mediterranean and Black Sea Photo: GFCMThe GEF has endorsed two new projects to tackle overexploitation in the Mediterranean and Black Sea Photo: GFCM

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has endorsed two projects of more than US$12 million to reverse the overexploitation of select commercial fisheries in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.

The Fisheries and Ecosystem Based Management for the Mediterranean Sea project (FishEBM-MED) and the Fisheries and Ecosystem Based Management for the Black Sea project (FishEBM-BS) will begin in 2021 for a duration of four year. Executed by the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), they will support Georgia, Turkey, and Ukraine in the Black Sea and Albania, Algeria, Lebanon, Libya, Montenegro, Morocco, Tunisia, and Turkey in the Mediterranean in developing ‘blue economy’ pathways.

Abdellah Srour, GFCM executive secretary, explained that “the two seas have most of their commercial fish stocks shared among littoral states so close cooperation will be essential for their effective management.”

The Mediterranean Sea is a hotspot of marine biodiversity with over 17,000 species. The Black Sea, on the other hand, has been experiencing a significant level of ecosystem degradation owing to an overabundance of nutrients, known as accumulated nutrient loading, which has adversely affected both ecosystems and its resources.

To strengthen the management system of the GFCM, both projects will identify issues requiring technical support, upscale regional fisheries networks, as well as promote and disseminate sustainable management practices with a focus on small-scale fisheries and value chains.

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