Victory | November 10, 2023

Mediterranean Countries Can Now Penalize States who Fail to Tackle Overfishing and Illegal Fishing

The General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) created a sanction system that will allow it to penalize states that fail to tackle overfishing or illegal fishing by their fleets. This action, which is the result of campaigning by Oceana and its allies, is essential to restoring fish populations in the Mediterranean Sea, one of the most overfished seas on Earth. Starting in 2025, the GFCM will be able to sanction countries that fail to take action when their trawl fleets fish in no-trawl areas, or if they fail to follow rules on fishing gear or catch restrictions. These penalties can include restricting fishing authorizations or reducing the allowed fishing days at sea. Prior to the GFCM’s decision, Oceana, ClientEarth, and the Environmental Justice Foundation prepared a legal analysis, which found that the GFCM could establish such a system. Oceana continues to urge Mediterranean countries to follow through on their commitments and restore fish populations and ecosystems.