Fighting overfishing in the Mediterranean through increased transparency

Protecting the Mediterranean against overexploitation by exposing illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing fleet activities.

  • Global Fishing Watch
Project funding

For centuries, the Mediterranean Sea has provided surrounding countries and communities with abundant marine resources, livelihoods and trade opportunities, while serving as a bridge between the rich cultures that shape the region.

The Mediterranean is now a rapidly declining sea with a growing trend of unstainable fish stocks and habitats for species reproduction under threat.

With traditional actors failing to reverse the trend, there is an urgent need to identify and stop the most destructive fishing activities in areas that are supposed to be protected.

Strategy of intervention

The Primat Foundation has decided to join forces with a consortium of organisations named MedSeaAlliance and to support Global Fishing Watch (GFW) in the Mediterranean.

Global Fishing Watch is recognised for its global expertise in improving the transparency of fishing fleet activity to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and to strengthen the designation and safeguarding of marine protected areas.

In particular, the donation was directed towards a new anti-bottom trawling initiative jointly implemented by the MedSeaAlliance and GFW which aim is to:

-reveal the extent of the negative impact of bottom trawling in the Mediterranean with the help of new technologies.

-reverse the culture of non-compliance in fisheries.

-contribute to the enforcement of existing rules with a particular focus on marine protected areas.

  • Remote sensing support to expose the extent and impact of illegal trawling in the Mediterranean.
  • Improve monitoring and control of trawler activity in the Mediterranean and provide a more accurate picture of the depths at which they operate.
  • Support compliance efforts in one EU and one non-EU country.
Expected results
  • Production of an Atlas of Illegal Trawling in the Mediterranean.
  • Over a period of three years, and in collaboration with key stakeholders such as the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the media and academia, GFW will support the advocacy and investigation efforts of Med Sea Alliance members and other Mediterranean stakeholders through advanced technical support, analysis of the fisheries footprint and provision of dynamic data on vessels and human activities to inform decision-making and improve future policy and ecological resilience.

Global Fishing Watch is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing ocean governance through increased transparency of human activity at sea. By creating and publicly sharing map visualizations, data and analysis tools, Global Fishing Watch aims to enable scientific research and transform the way our ocean is managed.