Small-scale fisheries in the Mediterranean represent a significant part of the fisheries industry and their substantial social, economic and place attachment related role has always been acknowledged in the region. Despite the fact that this usually family-based endeavor has a vast economic impact on coastal and island communities of the sea-basin, data and insights on the Mediterranean artisanal fisheries continue to be inadequately developed and poorly integrated in the local development strategies. Thus, the aim of this research is two-fold. Firstly, it presents some data and facts on the fisheries sector in the region and secondly it explores the options of their survival, prosperity and sustainability, approaching the combination of fisheries and tourism as a small-scale and soft “multi-use” in the marine space. Greece, with a huge potential in both the fisheries and the tourism sector, was used as focus area where a co-development process was designed aiming to identify advantages/potentials and challenges/disadvantages of the co-existence of artisanal fisheries and tourism, as perceived by a series of stakeholders including the co-management schemes (Fisheries Local Action Groups, FLAGs) in the country. Key conclusion is that sustainable livelihood from small-scale fisheries depends on the correlation between fisheries and other marine activities. Despite some limitations, this can boost sustainable local development and be a unique pattern of a “win-win” and soft multi-use marine spatial planning (MSP), with economic, environmental, social, cultural and governance related benefits for the coastal communities.
QUESTIONS THIS PRACTICE MAY HELP ANSWER:
- How can data and insights on the Mediterranean artisanal fisheries be developed and integrated into the local development strategies?
- What are the data and facts on the fisheries sector in the region?
- What are the options of artisanal fisheries survival, prosperity and sustainability?
This research article approaches fisheries and tourism as a “multi-use” marine spatial planning (MSP) setting in the Eastern Euro-Mediterranean, focusing on the analysis of the situation in Greece, a country that is well-developed in both of the sectors concerned, i.e., fisheries and tourism.
ASPECTS / OBJECTIVES:
The aim of the article was to provide insights on the Eastern Mediterranean artisanal fisheries which have, up to now, been inadequately studied and poorly integrated into local development strategies and more specifically to explore diversification options for their sustainability.
The research carried out for this paper is two-fold, structured around the following steps:
- An identification of insights into sustainable fisheries in the Mediterranean, the state of fisheries in Greece and also into multi-use (MU) in the marine space with key focuses on the latest findings relating to tourism-driven multi-use combinations, especially the triplet “fisheries-tourism-environmental protection”.
- A co-development process to reveal the potential of fishing tourism in the case-study area, namely Greece, a country situated in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea-basin. To this end, a survey was carried out based on structured interviews with different groups of stakeholders (state services, regional authorities, FLAGs, local fishers and their associations, non-governmental organisations, academia and experts) in order to determine their multiple perceptions for both the potentials and the many challenges that the fisheries-tourism combination is currently facing.
MAIN OUTPUTS / RESULTS:
Key conclusion is that sustainable livelihood from small-scale fisheries depends on the correlation between fisheries and other marine activities. Despite some limitations, this can boost sustainable local development and be a unique pattern of a “win-win” situation and soft multi-use marine spatial planning, with economic, environmental, social, cultural and governance related benefits for the coastal communities.
The example of Greek coastal areas is extremely relevant for exploring further options of such a promising maritime planning and co-management scheme, presenting multiple benefits for the coastal and island communities.
Department of economic and regional development, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences.