Participants of the Torre Guaceto exchange visit witness the catch monitoring at the harbour © M. Mabari / MedPAN

During an exchange visit organised by MedPAN on 12 and 13 June in Torre Guaceto, Italy, some 20 MPA managers, artisanal fishermen or their representatives, as well as other actors from 10 Mediterranean countries were able to exchange on MPA governance practices for the management of Small Scale Fisheries.

This meeting, that was held in the framework of a major project on artisanal fisheries funded by the MAVA Foundation and the Interreg Med FishMPlue2 project, was particularly aimed at crossing experiences and point of views on the implementation of the “governance toolbox” “developed in the framework of the FishMPABlue2 project and currently implemented in 11 pilot sites.

Illustrated by the ongoing experiments of the MPAs of Torre Guaceto, Portofino (Italy), Strunjan (Slovenia) and Telascica (Croatia), all pilot sites of the FishMPABlue2 project, the exchanges revolved around the development of cooperation with artisanal fishermen, improved monitoring of fishing, reduction of fishing effort and, of course, monitoring and control of illegal fishing.

A field trip allowed everyone to see for themselves the collaboration that exists between fishermen and the Torre Guaceto MPA.
2018 Exchange Visit Torre Guaceto

Since 2000, when the MPA banned fishing throughout the reserve, to today’s climate of trust, many steps have been taken. In 2005, an agreement was reached with the fishermen to authorise experimental fishing in the buffer zone of the MPA (Zone C, which represents 85% of the MPA). A systematic scientific monitoring (part of the agreement) made it possible to determine the fishing effort year after year and showed that the catches were 2 to 4 times higher in the buffer zones than outside. These results made it possible to obtain the support of the fishers for the protection and management of the MPA. Today, fishers can fish in the MPA once a week, landings are always very accurately tracked, and fishermen can sell bigger fish to restaurateurs and other local customers. This construction was made possible over time on the basis of a dialogue between fishers and MPA management that still today enables an adaptive management of the fishing activity in Torre Guaceto, with measures to reduce the fishing effort.

While waiting for the report of this exchange visit, here are some documents (in English) which make it possible to specify the subjects addressed:

And go to the MedPAN website to find reference documents on the theme of Small Scale Fisheries management in MPAs.