The nature and extent of IUU fishing in the Mediterranean Sea is not clearly known at present. It is known, however, that these dubious activities are becoming a common practice in recent years. Mediterranean Flag states currently report several IUU fishing related issues mostly related to the Mediterranean fleet.
In 2013 the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) identified purse seine, trawl and driftnets as the gears that are mostly involved in IUU fishing. Repeated serious infringements related to the use of driftnets were documented in Italy, showing the extent of illegal activities by over 300 Italian driftnetters. A ban on small scale driftnets in the Mediterranean would allow closing the current regulatory loopholes that illegal fishing operators have abundantly used to elude controls.