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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

The Mediterranean fishery management: A call for shifting the current paradigm from duplication to synergy

Cardinale, Massimiliano; Colloca, Francesco; Bonanno, Angelo; Scarcella, Giuseppe; Arneri, Enrico; Jadaud, Angelique; Saraux, Claire; Aronica, Salvatore; Genovese, Simona; Barra, Marco; Basilone, Gualtiero; Angelini, Silvia; Falsone, Fabio; Gancitano, Vita; Santojanni, Alberto; Fiorentino, Fabio; Milisenda, Giacomo; Murenu, Matteo; Russo, Tommaso; Carpi, Piera;
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Independence of science and best available science are fundamental pillars of the UN-FAO code of conduct for responsible fisheries and are also applied to the European Union (EU) Common Fishery Policy (CFP), with the overarching objective being the sustainable exploitation of the fisheries resources. CFP is developed by DG MARE, the department of the European Commission responsible for EU policy on maritime affairs and fisheries, which has the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) as consultant body. In the Mediterranean and Black Sea, the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (FAO-GFCM), with its own Scientific Advisory Committee on Fisheries (GFCM-SAC), plays a critical role in fisheries governance, having the authority to adopt binding recommendations for fisheries conservation and management. During the last years, advice on the status of the main stocks in the Mediterranean and Black Sea has been provided both by GFCM-SAC and EU-STECF, often without a clear coordination and a lack of shared rules and practices. This has led in the past to: i) duplications of the advice on the status of the stocks thus adding confusion in the management process and, ii) a continuous managers' interference in the scientific process by DG MARE officials hindering its transparency and independence. Thus, it is imperative that this stalemate is rapidly resolved and that the free role of science in Mediterranean fisheries assessment and management is urgently restored to assure the sustainable exploitation of Mediterranean marine resources in the future.


Mediterranean fisheries management; GFCM; STECF; CFP

Published in

Marine Policy
2021, volume: 131, article number: 104612

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Resources
Colloca, Francesco
Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn
Bonanno, Angelo
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)
Scarcella, Giuseppe
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)
Arneri, Enrico
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)
Jadaud, Angelique
Universite de Montpellier
Saraux, Claire
Universites de Strasbourg Etablissements Associes
Aronica, Salvatore
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)
Genovese, Simona
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)
Barra, Marco
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)
Basilone, Gualtiero
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)
Angelini, Silvia
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)
Falsone, Fabio
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)
Gancitano, Vita
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)
Santojanni, Alberto
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)
Fiorentino, Fabio
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)
Milisenda, Giacomo
Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn
Murenu, Matteo
University of Cagliari
Russo, Tommaso
University of Rome Tor Vergata
Carpi, Piera
International Pacific Halibut Commission
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Sustainable Development Goals

SDG14 Life below water

UKÄ Subject classification

Fish and Wildlife Management

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