Case study 1: Adriatic Sea

Responsible: Michela Martinelli ISMAR-CNR, Italy

The area chosen for the Adriatic Sea Case study is seat of several human activities. Small-scale fisheries using set gears, hydraulic dredge fisheries for baby clams, recreational fisheries and mussel farms are a part of these activities and they are often in conflict for space and resources. Small-scale fisheries are also in conflict for space and resources with trawling which is often carried out illegally inside the 3 nm from the coast.

The management measures adopted up to date to mitigate these conflicts are:

  1. construction of artificial reefs to:
    • create physical obstacles against illegal trawling;
    • implement the small-scale fisheries diversifying the catches, hence increasing their income, and saving fuel to reach the fishing grounds;
    • create new extensive mussel cultures to sustain the harvesting of mussels on wild banks.
  2. establishment of “aquaculture zones” to concentrate mussel farms in specific areas. However, these measures have not solved completely the existing conflicts due to the lack of an overall integrated coastal management plan. The Adriatic Sea case study will address ECOAST objectives by mapping productive areas using geo and time referenced abundance indexes, mapping vulnerable fish habitats (nursery and spawning grounds), assessing spatial interactions between fisheries, aquaculture and other human activities, stakeholder consultations, evaluating costs and benefits of MSP measures for selected fleet segments (e.g. pelagic trawl), and by developing fleet models.