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The first launching session in Tunisia within the ECOSAFIMED project

Tuesday, 3 March, 2015

In the framework of the Mediterranean Programme for Cross-Border Co-operation, the National Institute of Marine Sciences and Technologies (INSTM - Salambo, Tunisia) –being the partner representing the Southern bank of the Mediterranean– together with the Biodiversity Foundation and the Institute of Marine Sciences (Spain), and the University of Genoa (Italy), are in charge of implementing the ECOSAFMED project. This initiative aims to analyse the traditional coastal fishing sector and to establish management guidelines to rationalize the exploitation and ensure both the optimal cost-effectiveness of the fishermen and the environmental status of the benthic communities in the basin.
Within the scope of this project, the National Institute of Marine Sciences and Technologies organized a launching session on the 27th of February 2015 at the Center for Professional Training in Marine Engineering in Kelibia. This meeting was aimed at fishermen to transmit the characteristic of the project, the relevance of their cooperation and the economic benefits that adopting good fishing practices that preserve the seabed may have on the fishing activity. Representatives of all regional stakeholders in the fishing sector attended the event: professionals, researchers and representatives from associations as well as from the administration.
Researchers of the National Institute of Marine Sciences and Technologies were in charge of introducing the project to the attendees and presenting the most important initial results through the analysis of the video footage obtained using sophisticated ROV technology. During the event several videos and photos captured in the marine expeditions during the months of August and September 2014, in La Galite and Esquerquis, were shown.
This initiative allowed the audience to become aware of the necessity of the cooperation among all stakeholders in the artisanal fishing sector, in order to rationalize the exploitation thus ensuring the sustainability of the sector and the preservation of marine benthic communities. Furthermore, the attendees also discussed the economic benefits resulting from the adoption of responsible fishing practices. To conclude, the participants unanimously agreed on the necessity of involving all parties in the development of a long-term agreement based on the joint recommendations that will be drafted upon the completion of the project.