Report | May 31, 2016

VME protection: What is needed? 40th Session of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean

The protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) has been a legal obligation for RFMOs since 2008, with specific requirements laid out under United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolutions 59/25, 61/105 and 64/72. However, GFCM lags far behind other RFMOs in fulfilling these obligations.

GFCM measures to protect VMEs are limited to three fisheries restricted areas (FRAs) and a prohibition on trawling below 1000 m. Most VMEs in the Mediterranean are therefore entirely unprotected.