Rapana venosa or the rapa whelk, a non-indigenous species, settled in the Black Sea and reproduced fast, threatening local ecosystems, especially molluscs on which this large sea snail likes to feed. Over time, rapa whelk has also become a significant revenue source for local fishers and the post-harvest industry.
Several countries in the Black Sea, with the support of the General Fisheries Commission of the Mediterranean (GFCM) of FAO, have joined forces to better understand the spread and current management of rapa whelk and work towards forging a common, regional approach to ensure it is managed in a sustainable way – striking a balance between the commercial fishing of this species and the protection of other species in the ecosystem.
As part of these efforts, the GFCM and its partners will hold a series of workshops, between 29 March and 9 May 2022, within the framework of the BlackSea4Fish project. The workshops will bring together fishery management authorities, fishers, researchers, inspectors, representatives of the processing industry, exporters, representatives of non-governmental organizations, consumers and any other interested parties.
The workshops will focus on identifying rapa whelk management measures adopted by various countries in the Black Sea as part of the GFCM-led research programme on rapa whelk in the region. The programme aims to provide a scientific basis for advice towards the future establishment of a multiannual management plan.
The SSF Forum workshops will kick off in Turkey (Trabzon, 29 March 2022), followed by Romania (Constanta, the week of 18 April 2022) and Bulgaria (Varna, the week of 25 April 2022). These workshops will be in-person events.
They will then culminate with a regional online meeting on 9 May 2022, which will evaluate the results of the country meetings and identify and discuss the best management measures for rapa whelk.
For more information, please contact:
BS4F Project Coordinator
GFCM Technical Unit for the Black Sea (BSU)