We are a group of senior marine campaigners and NGOs that jointly worked to promote an ambitious reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). We coordinated the coalition OCEAN2012 in Greece, Cyprus, France, Italy and Spain (ocean2012.eu), which helped securing the CFP main objective of stopping overfishing by 2020.
As part of this effort we activated and led national NGOs platforms, joining forces with those who were not part of OCEAN2012, such as Greenpeace and WWF.
Mediterranean fisheries entered the CFP reform debate only marginally. We therefore decided to refocus our activities on the Med and apply our knowledge, expertise and access to help improve Mediterranean fish stocks and marine habitats.
MedReAct’s mission is to catalyse action for the recovery of Mediterranean marine ecosystems by ensuring a fair and responsible long-term use of our Common Sea.
The Mediterranean is a sea of unique biodiversity. Even though it represents only 0.8% of the sea surface worldwide, it supports 7% of the world’s marine species, including 750 species of fish. Many of these are endemic, including sharks and rays. Keystone species and critical marine habitats, such as seagrass meadows and coralligenous reefs, are found along the coasts, while deep-sea and pelagic waters support unique and sensitive fauna. The Mediterranean Sea is also one of the most impacted marine ecosystems worldwide with 91% of the assessed stocks overfished.
In 2011, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) reported that half of the assessed Mediterranean marine fish species are threatened by targeted fishing or incidental capture as by-catch. IUCN called, amongst other measures, for the urgent designation of management plans and “no- take zones”.
Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing (IUU) is considered one of the most serious threats to the recovery of fish stocks in the Mediterranean. IUU fishing depletes fish stocks and destroys vulnerable marine ecosystems.