Monitoring fish assemblages and artisanal fisheries at Italian Marine Protected Areas
Fishermen at work at Torre Guaceto MPA, Italy (Photo Dario Fiorentino)
Scientists at work using under water visual census at Tavolara-Punta Coda Cavallo MPA, Italy (Photo Egidio Trainito)
marine protected areas; marine reserves; fish communities; artisanal fisheries, management; ecological effectiveness
ECOMERS, University Nice-Sophia Antipolis, France (thanks to the agreement with CoNISMa, the Interuniversitary National Consortium of Marine Sciences, Italy)
Paolo Guidetti

MPAs of Tavolara-Punta Coda Cavallo and Torre Guaceto ( – 37.000 €


January 1st – December 31st, 2017

  • The goal of the project is to investigate and monitor, in space and time, the differences: 1) in fish assemblages along a gradient of protection (i.e. no-take, partial reserves and areas open to fishing outside the MPAs’ boundaries); 2) in artisanal fishing catches within MPAs (i.e. in partial reserves where fishing is permitted but regulated) and outside 'fished' areas.
  • In order to do that, our work involves: 1) gathering fish data (species richness, abundance, size distribution, biomass) using non-destructive underwater visual census on rocky reefs according to ad-hoc sampling designs; 2) gathering artisanal fishing data, especially using trammels as standard gears, to make it possible to compare data in time and among MPAs.
  • The results of this monitoring study have the potential to help improve/refine local management of MPAs, share experiences and good practices, and adopt standardized methods across the MPAs investigated.