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The future of the Mediterranean Sea requires a new generation of sustainable fishers

At the close of the Mediterranean Conference on Mediterranean Fisheries in Malta, WWF continues to express full support for the MedFish4Ever Declaration signed in 2017 and calls on the EU, Mediterranean countries and the GFCM-FAO to work together towards a new vision for our sea that will secure the future of fisheries and our sea through replenishing stocks, modernizing boats, developing new markets, and training a new generation of sustainable fishers.

Marco Costantini, Fisheries Manager at WWF’s Mediterranean Marine Initiative said:
“We have heard loud and clear that Mediterranean fisheries need young people, new ideas and more innovation -  modern and sustainable fishers/entrepreneurs with social media and marketing skills. WWF is working in five Mediterranean countries to foster this new generation of fishers.”

In line with the message of this year’s conference, “Transformative actions to address new challenges”, ministers, scientists, fishers, and NGOs discussed the new reality for a sea that is increasingly transformed by climate change and for a sector that is struggling to attract young fishers in Europe as well as North Africa. 

WWF has been working for over 20 years to develop and support solutions to overcome the dire status of Mediterranean fish stocks and promote new and more effective governance for fisheries. Thanks to improved fisheries management, we are making some progress in tackling overfishing, but 73% of Mediterranean fish stocks are still fished beyond sustainability. After years, we still have too many boats chasing too few fish. 

Climate change is further exacerbating an ecological and social crisis that requires bold solutions and long-term vision. The need to protect 30% of our sea, decarbonise our blue economy and secure a future for fisheries are not competing objectives. On the contrary, none of them can be achieved without pursuing the others. 

Alessio Satta, Director at WWF’s Mediterranean Marine Initiative said:
“In our role as WWF, our primary mandate for biodiversity conservation drives our commitment to finding innovative solutions for the sustainable management of Mediterranean fisheries. The challenges we face today require transformative actions that not only secure the future of our marine ecosystems but also inspire a new generation of professionals dedicated to preserving our precious seas. Together, we're shaping a sustainable, biodiverse future for the Mediterranean”.

For WWF, the only way to secure a future for Mediterranean fisheries is to finally have a modernized and sustainable Mediterranean fishing fleet that is in balance with our marine resources. The European Commission, Mediterranean countries and the GFCM should invest both in decommissioning some fishing boats together with fishing licenses to reduce fishing capacity and in modernizing the whole sector through investing in CO2-neutral boats, training young fishers including women, and creating new market opportunities. 


Justyna Lach, Communication Officer at WWF Mediterranean Marine Initiative, jlach@wwfmedpo.org +39 349 887 8106 
Building a new vision for Mediterranean fisheries.
Building a new vision for Mediterranean fisheries.