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At the close of the Ministerial Conference on Mediterranean Fisheries in Malta, WWF has expressed full support for the Malta MedFish4Ever Declaration.
The Malta MedFish4Ever Declaration is an ambitious strategic plan to transform the Mediterranean fishing sector and ensure the long-term sustainability and availability of fish stocks on the basis of the best scientific advice available. This sector is enormously important for the Mediterranean employing over 250,000 people (55% are artisanal fishers) directly, in addition to the employment provided by fish markets, production, distribution and other sectors associated with Mediterranean fisheries. The strategy defined in this Declaration also strongly integrates socioeconomic aspects and improved management at sea.
“Mediterranean fish stocks can no longer be sustained by words and good intentions. We need concrete actions, visible along the coasts, at sea and at governance level. The Malta Declaration is the last opportunity to save the Mediterranean fish stocks and guarantee long-term livelihoods for future generations” said Dr. Giuseppe Di Carlo, Director of the WWF Mediterranean Marine Initiative.
WWF has been working for over 15 years to develop and support solutions to overcome the dire status of Mediterranean fish stocks and promote new and more effective governance for fisheries. WWF has found that a participatory process – in which the fishing sector, administration, science and NGOs have equal status – is key to stopping the decline of fish stocks, managing the current fishing effort more effectively and improving selectivity at sea.
“Joining forces has proved to be the most efficient tool. Through co-management we are seeing results beyond our hopes. From now on we expect to see concrete actions as a result of the agreements under this declaration, that can progressively deliver a healthy and productive Mediterranean. To this end WWF offers complete support to the European Commission, Mediterranean countries and the GFCM to shape together a better future for Mediterranean fisheries” added Giuseppe Di Carlo.
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