„Working with scientists and park managers really helped me understand the benefits of fishing regulations,” says Michele Iaia. “Today, my income is protected and I am less worried about our community’s future.”

Michele is a fisherman in Torre Guaceto in Italy, a traditional fishing site and a marine protected area (MPA) since 1991.

In 2000, fishing was banned in the entire MPA, leading to conflicts and high levels of illegal fishing. Five years later, a portion of the zone was reopened. The fishermen, with support from scientists and MPA staff, were invited to develop their own sustainable fishing solutions. One of these included a project to market species of low commercial value, in collaboration with the Slow Food association.

Fishermen have improved their income, and now play an active part in the management of the MPA.

Picture: © Giuseppe Affinito – Archivio Consorzio di Gestione di Torre Guaceto
Source: WWF Living Blue Planet Report 2015