Marine Protected Areas and Artisanal Fishing: meeting in Malta
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Marine Protected Areas of the Egadi Islands, Ustica and Gozo, the Department of Mediterranean Fisheries of the Sicily Region and the Maltese Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture are participating in this project. International cooperation, exchange of good practices, development of sustainable artisanal fishing and measures to protect the Marine Protected Areas of the Mediterranean were the themes at the centre of the discussion during the Steering Committee meeting which took place from 1 to 4 September in Gozo and Valletta in Malta, as part of the “AMPPA – Marine Protected Areas and Artisanal Fishing” project – Integrated management through awareness-raising and environmental education” financed by the INTERREG V-A Italy-Malta Programme.
An Italian delegation of technical experts and representatives from the participating islands met with the Maltese representatives to take stock of the actions with the aim to contribute for the protection and safeguarding of the marine and terrestrial biodiversity of the MPAs (on the islands of Sicily and Malta) through the creation of systems and services for the protection and restoration of transboundary biodiversity.
This is the twelfth Steering Committee of the AMPPA project which is reaching its final phase. Many actions have been carried out including territorial animation activities (educational workshops and environmental awareness days) and experimental fishing campaigns. Some are ongoing or in the implementation phase such as the drafting of a common regulation, useful for the rational management of small-scale professional fishing activities, with a view to safeguarding the local environmental and cultural heritage.
Also present was the general manager of the Mediterranean Fisheries Department of the Sicilian Region, Alberto Pulizzi, who underlined how fundamental is the cooperation between countries to guarantee the protection of protected marine areas but also of artisanal fishing: “we need to systematize everything that emerge from these important exchanges, in order to create a common strategy, capable of carrying forward these activities in the best possible way”.
“We have reached the final stages of this project – stated Salvatore Livreri Console, director of the Egadi Islands Marine Protected Area -. Three years of intensive work with continuous exchanges of information among those involved in the fishing activity surrounding the Sicilian and Maltese coasts. We have carried out a whole series of dissemination and information activities, met the fishing communities, we are working on a common regulation and we are also testing new types of nets together with the Maltese partners, capable of allowing more sustainable fishing but also more advantageous for the operators. We hope that all the work done can be useful and be an example for other marine protected areas”.
The AMPPA project continues with many other activities: the events are in the municipalities of Gharb and Ghajnsielem on the island of Gozo and on the islands of Ustica, Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo with many events, festivals, workshops for children and the creation of three environmental education.
– foto Amppa –