General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean

General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean [COPEMED]

The objectives of FAO COPEMED Project are the advice, technical support and establishment of cooperation networks to facilitate coordination to support fisheries management in the Mediterranean.

COPEMED area covers the Western and Central sub-regions of the Mediterranean. Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Malta, Italy, France and Spain have adhered to the Project. The project began at the end of 1996. It was financed by Spain through the AECI (Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional) for a duration of 5 years.

Through its activities COPEMED facilitated, in particular, the works of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) and of it Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC). This regional cooperation allows the formulation of recommendations and the definition of scientific criteria for a better management of the exploited resources in the Mediterranean.

The COPEMED Project was born in 1996 for the Advice, Technical Support and Establishment of Co-operation Networks to facilitate Co-ordination to Support Fisheries Management in the Mediterranean (western and central Mediterranean in its initial stage). Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Malta, Italy, France and Spain have accepted to take part in the Project.

The basic objective of the COPEMED project is to widen scientific knowledge through a better international co-operation and to enhance co-ordination, especially with and between the countries of the southern riviera. To this effect, the maximum support from all the existing international organisations involved in Mediterranean matters is required. This will contribute to a more efficient performance of the GFCM and to the completion of its objectives. Hence, COPEMED is a project whose target is to facilitate the co-ordination between FAO’s normative and operative functions.

Steering Committee

The project is supported by a Steering Committee made up of FAO experts and the Directors / representatives of the national scientific institutions involved, which are the following:

Morocco: Institut National de Recherche Halieutique (INRH)
Algeria: Secretaire d’Etat chargé de la Pêche
Tunisia: Institut National des Sciences et Technologies de la Mer (INSTM)
Libya: Marine Biological Research Centre (MBRC)
Malta: Directorate General of Fisheries and Aquaculture
Italy: Direzione Generale della Pesca e dell’Acquacoltura
France: Institut Français pour l’Explotation de la Mer (IFREMER)
Spain: Instituto Español de Oceanografía (IEO)
FAO: Fisheries Department and Operations Division

The Steering Committee is responsible for:

revising the work schedule;
defining the research and training priorities;
avoiding over-lapping with previous international co-operation experiments in the COPEMED sub-region;
deciding on the most adequate strategy to guarantee, in each country, the direct implication of the Administration and the fishing industry.

Scientific Advisory Committee

As part of its restructuring, the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) decided to establish a Scientific Advisory Committee to replace the former Committee on Fisheries Management, in order to provide advice on technical and scientific bases for decisions concerning fisheries conservation and management in the Mediterranean.

The Scientific Advisory Committee is made up of specialists nominated for their expertise and able to formulate recommendations based on purely scientific considerations.

In 2002, the SAC wass divided into four sub-committees:

  • SC on Economic and Social Sciences
  • SC on Marine environment and Ecosystems
  • SC on Statistics and Information
  • SC on Stock Assessment

General SAC documents:

  • Report of the First Session of the GFCM Scientific Advisory Committee    
    23-26 March 1999, Rome (Italy)

    • List of papers presented at the Twenty-fourth Session of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean, 12-15 July 1999, Alicante, Spain.   List of Documents

    SC on Stock Assessment documents:

    • Report of the 2nd Session of the Working Group on Demersal Fisheries  
      13-16 March 2001, Tunis (Tunisia)

      Some of the works presented during this Working group are included here below:

      • Stock assessment of Sole Solea aegyptiaca in Gabes Gulf  
        by Jarboui O., Ghorbei M., Bradai M.N., Elabed A.

      • Ecobiologie et évaluation du stock de sparaillon Diplodus annularis des côtes tunisiennes  
        by Jarboui O., Ghorbei M., Bradai M.N., Elabed A., Bouain A.

      • Stock assessment of the French-Spanish shared stock of hake (Merluccius merluccius) in the gulf of Lions: a preliminary comparative approach.  
        by French-Spanish Working Group IFREMER-IEO-CSIC(ICM-CNR/ITPP

        • Publication:    

        • Presentation:   

    • Report of the 2nd Session  List of documents
      26-28 April 2000, Madrid (Spain)

    • Report of the First Session of the Working Group on Demersal Fisheries  
      21-23 March 2000, 
      Sète (France)

    •  Report of the First Session of the Working Group on Small Pelagics  
      1-3 March 2000, Fuengirola (Spain)

    • A compilation of information on stock assessment in the GFCM areas presented in standard forms.  
      Fabio Fiorentino (2000):  ED/TN/FF/4/0600/REL.1: 109 p.

    SC on Economic and Social Sciences documents:

    • Report of the Second Session of the SCESS  
      15-18 May 2001, Rome (Italy)

    • Report of the Working Group on Socio-Economic Indicators   Report in French
      9-11 January 2001, Tunis (Tunisia)

    SC on Statistics and Information documents:

    • Operational Units – A Preliminary Study   Report of the Study
      Document presented at the 2nd Session of the Sub Committee
      Madrid, Spain, 26 – 28 April 2000

    SC on Marine Environment and Ecosystems documents:

    • Report of the Second Session of the SCMEE  
      15-18 May 2001, Rome (Italy)

Further Reading

A compilation of information on stock assessment in the GFCM areas presented in standard forms. ED/TN/FF/4/0600/REL.1: 109 p. (2000) – F. Fiorentino

A review of studies of fishing gear selectivity in the Mediterranean (2001) – P. Stewart

Analysis of the Mediterranean (including North Africa) deep-sea shrimps fishery: catches, effort and economics – Final Report – September 2000 (EC, DG XIV, 97/0018) (2000) – F. Sardá Amills

Application Ressource – Module ‘Assistant pour Analyse Spatiale’ (2000) – A. Bensch, F.J. Ramos Salas

Application Ressources – Modèle de données (2000) – A. Bensch, D. Berthier

Appui pour la réalisation d’un recensement sur la pêche artisanale en Méditerranée marocaine (1999) – A. Damiano

Artisanal Fisheries in Libya – Census of Fishing Vessels and Inventory of Artisanal Fishery Metiers (2000) – M. Lamboeuf

COPEMED Workshop on the use of GIS as an assistance tool for decision makers in fisheries management – A. Bensch, M. Taconet

El modelo bioeconómico M5 (1999) – J. Lleonart Aliberas, F.X. Maynou Hernández, J. Salat Umbert, S. Touzeau, R. Franquesa Artes, P.A. Oliver Reus, A. Carbonell Quetglas, J. Pena

Estudio de evaluación de viabilidad del establecimiento de una base de datos de indicadores socioeconómicos para la pesca en el Mediterráneo (1999) – R. Franquesa Artes, M. Malouli Idrissi, J.A. Alarcón Urbistondo

Etude de la pêcherie des bivalves sur la côte méditerranéenne marocaine: rapport (1999) – M.S. Shafee

Fisheries Management in the Mediterranean Sea: from GFCM Recommendations to its application. The Spanish case (1998) – J.A. Camiñas Fernández

Formation Systèmes de Gestion de Bases de données relationnelles – Centre Royal de Télédétection Spatiale Rabat (Maroc) (2000) – A. Bensch, A. Kriouile, J. Ouachchama

Frame survey on the distribution, composition and activity of the gulf of Lions small scale fishing fleet. (1999) – A. Guillou, V. Crespi

Inventario de la Pesca Artesanal en España Mediterránea (2000-2001) (2001) – J.A. Alarcón Urbistondo

Inventory of Artisanal Fishery Communities in the Western-Central Mediterranean (2001) – R. Coppola

Malta Fisheries – J.I. de Leiva, C. Busuttil, M. Darmanin, M. Camilleri

Mediterranean and BlackSea Fisheries (2000) – A.R. FAO staff

Operational Units – A Preliminary Study (2000) – M. Camilleri, R. Coppola, J.I. de Leiva

Pêche des bivalves sur la côte méditerranéenne marocaine: catalogue d’espèces exploitées et d’engins utilisés (1999) – M.S. Shafee

Recommendations of different GFCM meetings – J.I. de Leiva

Report on the COPEMED / IMEDEA Workshop on DolphinFish Fishery Sampling (2000) – B. Morales Nin

Review of Mediterranean Fisheries Situation and Management – Informes y Estudios COPEMED Nº1 (1999) – R. Robles Pariente

Review of the Maltese Fishery Statistical System and options for its improvement (1999) – R. Coppola

Spatial Fishing Effort Modelling Network – Conceptual & Methodological Document – Workshop I : 11-14/04/2000 – Montpellier (2001) – F. Carocci, G. Le Corre, A. Bensch, L. Drapeau, F. Corsi, J. Morales

Spatial Fishing Effort Modelling Network – Workshop II: 5 – 7 /06/2001 – IFREMER Sète – France (2001) – A. Bensch, F. Carocci, F. Corsi, G. Le Corre, C. MENDE

Study on the biology and fishing of tuna and tuna like species in the Spanish and Moroccan coasts of the Mediterranean sea and the area under the influence of the strait of Gibraltar (1999) – J.M. de la Serna Ernst, A. Srour, M.P. Rioja Garay

The Mediterranean dolphinfish fishery from the management point of view (2000) – E. Massutí Pascual

Towards the Use of Geographic Information Systems as a Decision Support Tool for the Management of Mediterranean Fisheries – Informes y Estudios COPEMED Nº4 (2000) – A. Bensch, M. Taconet

Training Course: Principal commercial species in the Mediterranean and Current fisheries management practices used in the Mediterranean – Higher National Diploma in Fisheries Science – From 2nd April to 6th April 2001 (2001) – P.A. Oliver Reus, J.I. de Leiva






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