The Aeolian archipelago, north of Sicily, is under pressure from increasing tourism and unsustainable fishing practices. Illegal and unregulated fishing leads to over-fishing. Destructive fishing techniques destroy the marine environment and eliminate large predatory fish. Marine protection supports threatened species and helps to increase fish stocks which is of great economic importance to local fishing communities.

In November 2016, the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea committed to the designation of a marine protected area in the Aeolians. A network of marine protected areas will preserve biodiversity and protect fish stocks as well as endangered marine species. It will also serve to secure the future of a local, sustainable fishing industry through increased enforcement capacity.

In 2017, with the marine protected area not yet in place, BLUE started to work with small-scale fishermen in Salina and Stromboli. In collaboration with local biologists, BLUE has developed a voluntary ’Responsible Fishing Code of Conduct’ to establish best practice measures. To support the fishermen that follow these sustainable practices, BLUE has provided ice machines and insulated fish boxes which help to improve the quality and value of fish caught while also reducing polystyrene waste. BLUE also facilitates fishermen exchange programs with other sustainable small-scale communities in Italy to share experiences.

 Adessium Foundation supports BLUE’s work because we believe that an effective model for marine conservation can protect important marine habitats while also supporting local fisheries that apply sustainable fishing practices. We feel that the project will improve local communities’ understanding of the benefits of marine protection and empower small-scale fishermen to secure their supply of fish for the future.

About this partner

The Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE) is a UK-based charity, established in 2010 by the team behind the film ‘The End of the Line’, which brought the world’s attention to the crisis of over-fishing. BLUE was set up to enable the creation of marine reserves and establish models of sustainable fishing.

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