The considerable role of small-scale fisheries in the Mediterranean and Black Sea has long been recognized. They have the potential to contribute significantly to food security, economic growth and rural development and to provide valuable employment opportunities. This is why there is a genuine and widespread interest in securing their sustainable development in the whole region.
Small-scale fisheries are characterized by a great diversity and represent different values and ways of life. They are important vectors of local knowledge and good practices for co-management and they have a low environmental impact. However, there is sparse information at the regional level on their production volumes and socio-economic dimension as well as on their contribution to sustainable development and to the preservation of marine ecosystems.
Why a Symposium
At a time when the fisheries sector is experiencing a systemic crisis and many countries are going through a transitional period which may have implications for small-scale fisheries, the need for concerted efforts and strategies is becoming quite urgent. There is no doubt that regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs), such as the GFCM, can play an important role in this process.
The idea of the symposium stems from the need to assess the current situation in the region and gather ideas among the different stakeholders in order to be able to steer strategic and programmatic actions with a view to improving the livelihood of local communities engaged in small-scale fisheries, encouraging a sustainable exploitation of living marine resources. The aim is to provide, at the regional level, a platform where the main recurring issues related to small-scale fisheries in the Mediterranean and Black Sea could be duly addressed and all interested stakeholders could bring their opinions and ideas to the fore.