A detailed picture of fisheries issue, within the context of the Mediterranean Sea, in order to investigate possible challenges and opportunities in the framework of the reformed Common Fishery Policy (CFP) is presented as invited speech. The Mediterranean Sea has lots of diverse benthic communities in the coastal area that imply high number of species and complex trophic relationships. Since ancient times fisheries were very important on the Mediterranean, and nowadays it’s even more crucial due growing human population. A majoritie of fisheries in that coasta, shallow area is small-scale, characterized by multi-purpose and multi-gear fleet operating on seasonal basi, with multi-species catches and extremely heterogeneous landing places and marketing. Thus, scientific research of small-scaled fisheries is a particularly complex. Moreover, the facts regarding serious overfishing of most Mediterranean stocks demands urgent reforms of the management measures aiming to guarantee the sustainability of resources, particularly in comparison with the improvement observed in NW Atlantic seas. According to the new, reformed CFP, all European fish stocks should be brought to a state where they can produce at maximum sustainable yield (MSY) by 2020 at the latest. The sustainable exploitation should be achieved through multiannual plans (MAPs) reflecting regionality and the specificities of different fisheries as it is established as new CFP objective. Creation of MAPs should be based on scientific, technical and economic advices with included conservation measures for restoring and maintaining Mediterranean fish stocks above the determined MSYs. Since, in mixed Mediterranean fisheries, small-scale fishers landed more than a hundred commercial species and each one has specific MSYs, it is extremely difficult to regulate the fishing mortality independently for each species. Moreover, population dynamics of all Mediterranean species is also influenced by the recent environmental and oceanographic changes provoked by global climate change impacts. To really improve state of Mediterranean resources and maintain fisheries as economic activity, many different contrasting socioeconomic and ecological interests need to be confronted. Further on, recent demands for drastic reductions of fishing effort and consequently reduction of landings, based on new CFP objectives, requests for socially unacceptable management measures. For sure, actively involving scientists, fisherman and policy makers in fisheries management can minimize those tensions.
Keywords: Fisheries, Mediterranean Sea, Reformed Common Fisheries Policy.