The Agreement for the establishment of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), under the provisions of Article XIV of the FAO constitution, was approved by the FAO Conference in 1949 and entered into force in 1952. Consisting of 23 Member countries along with the European Union, the GFCM’s objectives are to promote the development, conservation, rational management and best utilization of living marine resources, as well as the sustainable development of aquaculture in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and connecting waters. Membership is open to both Mediterranean coastal states and regional economic organizations as well as to United Nations member states whose vessels engage in fishing in Mediterranean waters.


The EastMed Project “Scientific and Institutional Cooperation to Support Responsible Fisheries in the Eastern Mediterranean” executed by FAO and funded by Greece, Italy and European Community, supports the development of regionally-consistent fisheries management plans among the Eastern Mediterranean countries. The project’s longer-term development objective is to contribute to the sustainable management of marine fisheries in the Eastern Mediterranean, and thereby to support national economies and protecting the livelihoods of those involved in the fisheries sector. The project’s immediate objective aims is to support and improve the capacity of national fishery departments, to increase their scientific and technical information base for fisheries management and to develop coordinated and participative fisheries management plans in the Eastern Mediterranean sub-region.


The CNR Institute for the Coastal Marine Environment (CNR-IAMC) implements research activities in the field of the geological, chemical, physical and biological aspects of the coastal marine environment and is supported by highly technological facilities both in the laboratory and at sea. The Institute also offers different forms of vocational training, including a Doctorate in Marine Science and Engineering.


Following the summer 2006 conflict, Italy reinforced its presence with extraordinary aid funds, as grant, totalling approximately 30 million euro. In addition, in September 2007, the Italian Cooperation Office (UTL – Local Technical Unit) was opened within the Italian embassy. As an integral part of our country’s foreign policy, the Italian Development Cooperation’s approach is based on two priorities: first, the need to ensure the protection of life and human dignity to all the planet’s inhabitants; and second, a vision of cooperation as a method by which to install, improve and strengthen relations among various countries and various communities.


The CANA Project "Establishing Monitoring and Sustainable Development of the Lebanese Sea" is co-financed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and implemented by the Lebanese CNRS. The overall objective is to increase the knowledge of coastal and marine environments towards drawing responsible and sustainable development outlines while preparing guidelines for an integrated coastal policy. The project intends to prepare a complete picture related to the sea condition and its resources aiming at identifying sustainable and relevant economic approaches of the activities along the coastline of the Country. The scientific vessel named CANA-CNRS, donated by the Italian Government to CNRS is used for the scientific campaigns connected to the CNRS research programmes.