This proposal is the third multi-annual plan that the Commission is putting forward since the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. If fully implemented the plan has the potential to increase stock by up to 20%.
The plan marks a milestone in the Commission's approach to fisheries management, and shows that long-term viability of fisheries can still be made possible in a sea basin in which 93% of the fish stocks are assessed as over-exploited.
It was presented by Karmenu Vella, commissioner for environment, fisheries and maritime affairs. He believes without this plan, anchovy and sardine stocks would most likely collapse between 2020 and 2030.
The momentum for action has been growing since the beginning of 2016, with the launch of the Catania Process and the Commission's campaign MedFish4Ever to enhance concerted political ownership and improved governance in safeguarding vital shared fisheries resources in the region.
A Ministerial Conference will be organised in Malta, on 29 and 30 March which plans to adopt an ambitious ministerial Declaration by Fisheries Ministers of all Mediterranean countries.
The Malta MedFish4Ever Declaration is expected to set clear objectives for the sustainability of Mediterranean fisheries. ■
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