FAO-GFCM: New Mediterranean and Black Sea fishing gear catalogue: a milestone for fisheries management

The Mediterranean and the Black Sea are home to a very diverse fishing sector and host a wide variety of habitats and marine species. These species are caught using an extensive range of fishing gear and methods, with significant subregional and local variations. Catches are highly varied, and the structure of the regional fishing fleet is complex.   


This enormous diversity poses significant challenges for fisheries management, but a new technical paper from the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) aims to make one key aspect of the task easier to manage.  


The 400-page Catalogue of fishing gear in the Mediterranean and Black Sea region is the fruit of years of work by a team of fishing technology specialists and other experts. As its name suggests, it offers a systematic overview of all the types of fishing gear and methods employed across the entire region, describing their main technical characteristics and modes of use and exploring specificities and differences, not just at national level, but at local and subregional levels too. 


"This catalogue is the first synthesis work providing technical information on fishing gear ever conducted in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, and it involved an enormous amount of research, cataloguing and standardization of information," said Alessandro Lucchetti, the main author, and a senior researcher at the Institute for Marine Biological Resources and Biotechnology of the Italian National Research Council. "The biggest challenge was to find a way to harmonize information and make it usable for various stakeholders," he added. 

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