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SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

MODELS IN ARTISANAL
FISHING
The Sicilian fishing sector plays a vitally
important role at a national level. With a
fleet of 3412 boats (50% of which use
multiple fishing systems), a total tonnage
of 63,207 GT and engine power of 291,276
kW, the region accounts for 25% of the
national total in terms of numbers and
engine power (source IREPA). Sicily
accounts for 21% of Italian production and
30% of turnover.
Fishing is one of
Sicily’s most
important
production
activities not just in
terms of economics
but also from a
social, historical
and cultural
perspective.
The Siracusa fishing fleet is highly
representative of the small-scale
artisanal fishing sector.
A total of 96 operators are registered
at the Siracusa port of registry, but
they are not all operational due to a
variety of factors that have
contributed to the widespread
difficulties of the fishing sector.
• The steady depletion of fish stocks
• The increase in gas oil prices
• Interference with fishing activities by
cetaceans
• The lack of a boatyard
• Competition from amateur fishermen
are amongst the factors that have
discouraged many fishing operators.
FISHING SYSTEMS
• Trammel nets 87
• Longlines 87
• Surrounding nets
39
• Dragnets 3
• “Ferrettara”
driftnets 10
• Lines 31
• Harpoons 12
The Me.SFi.De project has helped rekindle a
desire amongst fishermen to take an
active part in the world of fishing. To do
this it has promoted business activities
through the forthcoming creation of a
small fishing cooperative. The sea must
continue to be seen as a primary resource
for the economy of Siracusa, for which
purpose it must be managed effectively in
the various seasons of the year, in
different environmental situations and
using the most appropriate tools.
Efforts are being made to apply new development
models that avoid the overexploitation of
resources by gradually scaling-down fishing
efforts, that make selective use of fishing
equipment to catch the so-called “target
species”, and that promote new complementary
activities such as fishing tourism. These are seen
as eco-sustainable activities that help to protect
the environmental heritage and which at the
same time offer fishermen new earning
opportunities that artisanal fishing can no longer
guarantee, mainly due to the scarcity of fishing
resources.
The project has actively engaged with fishing operatives
because they have a strong local presence and play an
active, driving role. As sustainable development strategies
need to be found for the region, fishermen may act as valid
partners. They are able to propose fishing methods that are
suited to the local context while offering other relevant
services such as surveillance, promotion of marine culture
and fish tourism. They can also provide valid support to
environmental tourism. The success of a strong tourism-
oriented region must be based on an ability to give the
market offerings that bring together the various unique
features of the area while valorising the many resources
present such as the sea, traditional food and wine,
environmental and cultural sites, and local customs.
In other words it is necessary to create new forms of
development based on integrated management that reduce
the gap between human activities and the environment and
satisfy the principles of eco-sustainability.
To achieve this
objective the
following activities
were carried out:
• Training of
fishermen
Seminar on
promoting the
value of small-
scale artisanal
fishing
The “Mercato alla
voce”, where catch
is sold direct to the
consumer
The catch is analysed on a sample
basis by the Istituto Zooprofilattico.
To date specimens have tested
negative microbiologically and in
terms of the presence of heavy
metals (cadmium, mercury and lead)
The results achieved by the project include:
• An increase in public awareness of the
culture of the sea and fishing
• Promotion of the value of the fishermen’s
experience and knowledge of the sea;
protection of natural resources through
sustainable fishing systems that include
retrieving used materials (nets, mooring
buoys, etc.)
• Creation of business activities relating to
the processing of fish products
Thank you for
your attention.