The Torre Guaceto Marine Protected Area in Italy was established in 1991 and since 2005 scientists, local bodies and fishermen have worked together within the protected area. Their collaboration resulted in the design, establishment and operation of a successful co-management plan for the conservation of the local fish stocks in order to maintain them at sustainable levels.
To accomplish this, the team responsible for the management of Torre Guaceto designed and implemented a series of specific fisheries management measures and monitoring protocols that respected local traditions while at the same time reduced the negative impacts of overfishing on rare and vulnerable habitats. Local fishermen participate actively in the initiative and the results are more than satisfactory, as they observe a recovery in the local fish stocks, while in parallel see an increase in their income from their managed fishing efforts.
The MPA of Torre Guaceto will be a leading case and a key example towards the effective establishment, management and monitoring of the new Marine Protected Area in the wider Gyaros region. In the course of the project, representatives of key stakeholders from Syros and Andros will have the opportunity to visit Torre Guaceto and to exchange experiences and discuss their concerns with their Italian colleagues. They will gather all the necessary information about MPA protocols and management methods and measures applied, but most importantly they will have the chance to view firsthand the actual results of the Italian MPA model. Results that benefit both fishermen and the marine environment!
Having assimilated the theory, through the training seminars, regarding ecological importance, institutional establishment and protection of marine species and habitats of Gyaros, examples of sustainable tourism models and funding for alternative business activities, the visit to Torre Guaceto will provide an opportunity to the fishermen to find practical and functional applications of that theory.
The objective of this field trip is to present to the participating stakeholders, a real life successful and best practice example of a Marine Protected Area, where local stakeholders not only actively participate in the management and operation of the MPA, but also sustain their livelihoods through environmentally friendly and alternative professional activities.