The Torre Guaceto marine protected area: What can we learn from this success story?

The Torre Guaceto Marine Protected Area (2279 ha, south-eastern Italy) includes a multi-use area of 1885 ha that is employed for small-scale fishing. Its fishery rules were elaborated with a participation process involving resident fishermen.

The resulting protocol established that local fishermen have exclusive access rights inside the MPA, and that they can only operate there once per week, and only using large mesh nets to avoid capturing juveniles.

As a result of this process, the income generated inside the MPA is twice as much as in neighboring waters, and fishermen decided to use large-mesh nets also outside the MPA.

An innovative management strategy was adopted for the tourism sector too, combining a system of parking fees and high-quality services.

This strategy encouraged a shift from high-volume, low-value to low-volume, high-value tourism, which creates livelihood opportunities for residents, and causes a lower environmental impact.

These achievements have been enabled by synergies among the fishery, tourism and agricultural sector, which were promoted by a motivated and proactive managing body and the grassroots organisation Slow Food.

This abstract is part of Chapter 17 of the "Marine Protected Areas: Science, Policy and Management" book published in October 2019. Access Chapter 16, authored by IEEP's Mia Pantzar, here, and Chapter 17, authored by IEEP's Daniela Russi, here.