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One of the priorities of the European Union (EU)’s reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is to ensure sustainable fisheries both in European waters and on a global scale. The EU has in the past decade introduced new, tighter laws to achieve legal and sustainable world fisheries at a time of mounting threats to marine biodiversity and food security.

It all started in 2008 when OSPAR, the international Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic, adopted its list of threatened species and habitats. This list, essential to identify key marine species in need of conservation measures, was the starting point of active conservation policies for restoring marine biodiversity in the region.

Last month, scientists from all parts of the Mediterranean Sea gathered at the 18th session of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), the regional body responsible for fisheries management in the Mediterranean Sea. The event once again centred on the bleak situation of Mediterranean fishing resources, in which 97% of stocks assessed are overfished and/or not sustainably exploited.

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