In 2017, the BLUE and AIPF team started to work on the project with small-scale fishermen from Salina and Stromboli, where they have developed a voluntary ’Responsible Fishing Code of Conduct’, in collaboration with local biologists, to establish best practices measures ensuring protection of fish stocks.
The 27th of March in Salina and the 28th in Stromboli, the code has been officialised, at the presence of the representatives of the foundations, of the fishermen and the institutions.
The project aims to encourage a collaboration between the fishermen; to improve understanding of Aeolian marine resources; to develop non-destructive, sustainable fishing methods; to restore fish stocks and protect marine habitats; to create Win-Win model for conservation and fisheries.
BLUE has purchased insulated fish boxes to improve the quality of their daily catch, together with the creation of a label that identifies the Aeolian responsible fishermen working group. Local and private buyers can easily identify the fishermen who follow responsible principles, with reduced impact on the marine environment and providing a high quality and sustainable product.
The fishermen in Salina who have joined the initiative are: Gaetano Zagari, Santino Ruggiera, Edoardo Argentaro, Aldo Zavone, Bartolino Pantò, Salvatore Follone, Pasqualino Taranto, Roberto Pirera, Giovanni Ristuccia, Alfonso Pirera and Agostino Rando. In Stromboli Gaetano Cincotta, Gaetano Cusolito, Roberto Cusolito, Federico Cusolito, Luca Taranto, Antonio Cincotta, Stefano Cincotta, Mario Caccetta, Nino Caccetta e Vincenzo Utano.
The institutions supporting the project: the majors of Salina Domenico Arabia and Clara Rametta. Claudio Utano was presenta s a delegate of Lipari Municipality. The support of the Coast Guard has been precious, in paarticular the role of the Captains Paolo Margadonna and Marco Miuccio. Paolo De Rosa, President of the association Attiva Stromboli have also been really helpful.
The Code of Conduct is an instrument oriented towards future protection regimes and consultation phases, where fishermen will have greater contractual capacity for future choices aimed at protecting the sea and the fish resources. The Aeolian Islands Preservation Fund and Blue Marine Foundation will keep on supporting the fishermen in this aggregation process and also with other projects to protect the natural environments of the Aeolian Islands. Regarding the sustainable fishing project, the hope is to spread the model to Lipari and other islands, compatibly with the will of the fishermen.
On Saturday 13th October, the island of Salina hosted an international event: “Responsible, small-scale fishing: Win-win, low-impact, sustainable models that boost fish stocks and improve livelihoods”, organised by Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE) and the Aeolian Islands Preservation Fund (AIPF). Fishermen from five small-scale European fisheries met to discuss their experiences for the first time. Aeolian fishermen hosted their counterparts from the Italian marine protected areas (MPAs) of Egadi Islands, Punta Campanella, Torre Guaceto, and Lyme Bay, UK.
The participating fishermen presented various initiatives from their local regions, showing how responsible, small-scale fisheries are beneficial to the local fishing economy and the marine environment.
The installation of three ice machines to improve the maintenance of the daily catch for the artisanal fishermen of Salina and Stromboli, who have joined the “Responsible Fishing” project, has been finalized.
The project showed that the Responsible Fishermen have embraced principles such as association, team spirit and self management of fishing effort, in order to contribute to the preservation of the fish resource in their sea.