Overfishing in Mediterranean, Black Sea at lowest level in 10 years: UN

Overfishing in the Mediterranean and Black Sea is at its lowest level in 10 years, according to a new UN report released on Friday, News.Az reports citing Anadolu Agency. 

The State of Fisheries in the Mediterranean and Black Sea report from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Thursday: “The percentage of overfished stocks in the Mediterranean and Black Sea has fallen below 60 percent for the first time, following a decreasing trend that started a decade ago.”

According to the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) report, overfishing is a cause for concern, though a 15% decrease was recorded in this figure last year, and a 31% decrease was recorded since 2012.

In addition, according to 2023 figures, approximately 2 million tons of seafood were produced in the fisheries and aquaculture sector in 2021. According to the report, more than 20 billion in revenue was generated and 700,000 people were employed.

“Fishing pressure in the Mediterranean and Black Seas is still at twice the level considered sustainable,” the report said.

“Although excessive exploitation of fish stocks has fallen significantly, fishing pressure in the Mediterranean and Black Seas is still at twice the level considered sustainable. However, the report also demonstrates that the GFCM’s continued focus on expanding management plans and technical and spatial measures is having positive results for key commercial species,” it said.

It added: "Some stocks under management plans show a larger than average reduction in fishing pressure … Notable examples include a 77 percent reduction for common sole in the Adriatic Sea, which has now reached sustainable exploitation rates, and a 73 percent reduction for turbot in the Black Sea."

Miguel Bernal, executive secretary of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean, said the report “paints a complete picture of this vital sector, reinforcing just how important it is for livelihoods, food security and nutrition in our region.”

News.Az 

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