THE ACTIONS

The project foresees concrete conservation actions, both at technical and governance level as well as awareness and dissemination activities in Italy, Cyprus and Greece.

The following actions will be implemented.

Preliminary actions:

  • A1. Conservation action executive plan.
  • A2. Update of the best practices for fishing mitigation systems.
  • A3. Identification of the stakeholder network.

Conservation concrete actions:

  • C1. application of innovative and low impacting longlines – the traditional longlines will be modified by using of circle hooks, nylon branchlines and modifying depth setting of the main line to reduce bycatch. The action includes fishermen involvement and training.
  • C2. application of demersal low impact fishing gears (shark grid and traps) – the traditional bottom trawls will be equipped with selective grids to avoid incidental capture of demersal sharks. Moreover, it will be promoted the use of alternative and low impacting demersal fishing gears, such as traps. The action includes fishermen involvement and training.
  • C3. reduction of mortality of the accidental caught sharks. A specific training to fishermen will be implemented, in order to teach the right procedure for the shark manipulation, with the highest safety for fishermen and successful for fishes.
  • C4. reduction catches and mortality of Carcharhinus plumbeus at the Lampione island – Creation of an artificial reef around the Lampione Island will protect the unique resident community of shark in European waters (sandbar shark) from the illegal fishing inside the MPA of Pelagie Islands.
  • C5. institution of a sighting and notice network for the basking shark in the North Sardinia – a communicative network to inform in real time all the stakeholders on the presence of the basking shark Cethorinus maximus will reduce incidental catch and to mitigate the human disturbance.
  • C6. specific local sharks management plan for the MPAs.-A specific local marine management plan will be drafted for the AMPIP and AMPT in order to have a concrete tool to protect local community of endangered sharks. The plan will be tested and adopted, and it will be the frame for other local management plan in MPAs or other Marine SCI (Site of Community Importance).
  • C7. supporting professional fishermen in low impact fishing, including EU fund raising- 7 permanent desks with trained staff will be opened and will provide fishermen with a concrete support for funds searching in order to shift their fishing devices with low impact ones.
  • C8. supporting the management authorities for conservation and management policies of sharks in Italy and Cyprus. The Action will provide: a database for assessment of elasmobranches environmental status; guidelines for legislators, official meeting to re-launch the dialogue between stakeholders, including Ministries, both for IT and CY, and also at Mediterranean level.

The monitoring actions (based also on tagging/releasing of alive by-catched sharks) follow the Conservation actions and provide information of their success and results), as well as useful data for future management measures.

Moreover a Social- economic monitoring will provide information about the social and economic impact of sharks conservation.

The purpose is double: to implement some corrective actions if and where is needed and to obtain usable data to define strategic policies, right communication and advocacy activities towards institutions and fishermen.

The Communication action will provide a common identity, a plan and tools and promote objectives, actions and results of the project.

The awareness activities will be implemented at 3 different levels:

  1.  at the local targeted areas.
  2. to the national (IT, GR, CY) stakeholders to promote conservation practices, and at
  3. the EU Mediterranean level, including networking with other EU funded projects