On May 30th, 2016, Abdellah Srour, executive secretary of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean, and OceanCare president Sigrid Lüber signed an official Memorandum of Understanding in Malta.

The purpose of the General Fisheries Commission (GFCM) for the Mediterranean of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is to ensure the conservation and sustainable use, at the biological, social, economic and environmental level, of living marine resources, as well as the sustainable development of aquaculture in its area of application.

Through their newly formed partnership, GFCM and OceanCare will jointly address the impacts of underwater noise, bycatch and illegal fishing on fish stocks. The agreement further involves environmental education activities, specialist trainings, and the facilitation of exchange of information on a regular basis. In so doing, OceanCare will support the Fisheries Commission in its efforts to preserve endangered species and promote marine conservation.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Sigrid Lüber pointed to OceanCare’s long-term engagement within the United Nations which enabled it to raise and debate issue of underwater noise pollution at many competent fora.

Collaborating with international and regional institutions is instrumental to both GFCM and OceanCare. Ultimately, we share the same vision: the vision of oceans – which also form a basis of human life – as lively and healthy habitats.

Sigrid Lüber also seized the opportunity to remind the state parties that ‘quiet zones’ are urgently needed in the Mediterranean. Within these zones, marine wildlife can then be protected by limiting noise levels to a certain maximum threshold.

Read Sigrid Lüber’s speech as well as an excerpt of OceanCare’s intervention on the establishment of quiet zones.