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Mediterranean Platform Created For Artisanal Tuna Fishers

Associations from Morocco and Algeria have signed the manifesto of joining in the first conference of sustainable artisanal fisheries in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. The meeting was organized by the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean and held last week in Malta. Representatives of the North African fishermen and MedArtNet signed the declaration.

The outlined strategy aims to promote knowledge on artisanal, small-scale fisheries, support co-management of fishery resources and advocate for the creation of Marine Protected Areas with the involvement of artisanal fishers to ensure social, economic and environmental sustainability of tuna and other resources. The meeting included pole and line, matanza and almadraba tuna fishers.

Artisanal fisheries represent around 85 percent of the boats that operate in the Mediterranean. They are fisheries that make short fishing trips, close to shore, mainly for local consumption. Pole and line is the main artisanal method, which uses a single line and hook to catch the tuna one-by-one. However, Matanza; the centuries old, small scale tuna fishery in the south of Italy, driving school of migrating tuna into a huge net held up by small boats and almadraba tuna fishing; consisting of setting nets in a maze that leads to a central pool also come under the artisanal fisheries umbrella.

President of MedArtNet (Mediterranean Platform of Artisanal Fishers), Ramon Tarridas said “It’s the first time that an initiative of this nature includes fishermen from Europe and Africa.” He stressed that the document “emphasizes that the interests, expectations and vision of fishermen matches on both side of the Mediterranean.”