Cyprus Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment Costas Kadis stressed the need for support and protection of small-scale fishery and enhancing the sustainability of the sector, as well as the need for enhanced monitoring and controlling of fishing activities at national and regional level.
He was speaking at a high-level teleconference on the preparation of a “New Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea”, organized by the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), in cooperation with the European Commission. The aim of the New Strategy, which will be prepared and adopted in 2021, is to ensure the sustainable exploitation of fishery resources, the protection and conservation of marine ecosystems and biodiversity, as well as the sustainable development of aquaculture.
“Cooperation between the Mediterranean countries is a foundation for the sustainability of fisheries in the region, while ensuring a level playing field,” Kadis said in his intervention. In addition, he described the efforts and measures taken by Cyprus to contribute in the sustainability of fishery in the Mediterranean.
As he said, Cyprus has recently amended its national legislation in order to ensure the economic viability of the fishing industry, to improve fisheries management, through the implementation of the reduction of fishing pressure in fish stocks, as well as the introduction of provisions for more effective control and fight against illegal fishing. He also outlined the measures taken by the Government to support the Fisheries and Aquaculture sectors in order to meet the challenges posed by Covid-19 pandemic and to remain sustainable.
He also pointed out that for Cyprus, data collection and scientific assessment of fishery stocks, is a top priority. He added that Cyprus has created a Marine Protected Area network, occupying approximately 19% of all marine region, aimed at the conservation and sustainability of marine biodiversity. Priorities of Cyprus for 2021-2025 include, as he said, improving fisheries management and intensification of efforts for effective management of the country`s Marine Protected Areas.