The Unexploited Potential of Small-Scale Fisheries in Italy: Analysis and Perspectives on the Status and Resilience of a Neglected Fishery Sector

  • Saša RaicevichEmail author
  • Fabio Grati
  • Otello Giovanardi
  • Paolo Sartor
  • Mario Sbrana
  • Roberto Silvestri
  • Romano T. Baino
  • Franco Andaloro
  • Pietro Battaglia
  • Teresa Romeo
  • Massimo Spagnolo
  • Mark Dubois
Part of the MARE Publication Series book series (MARE, volume 23)


Small-scale fisheries represent one of the most important fishing sectors in Italy, comprising 60% of Italian fishing vessels, half the fishers and 16% of national landings. Despite their high social, economic and cultural value, they have been neglected by national and international policies, resulting in a poor outlook for the near future. In this chapter, we provide an overview of recent trends, the status of small-scale fisheries in Italy and major, current threats to the sector. These include: competition from large-scale fisheries, rivalry with illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, recreational fisheries, ecological changes and the degradation of ecosystems. The evolution of international and national legislation affecting small-scale fisheries is also outlined, with examples of opportunities and challenges in two complementary case studies from the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas. The analysis is mainly focused on participatory, bottom-up management tools (local management plans and co-management schemes). The resilience of small-scale fisheries’ socio-ecological systems, mainly related to fishers’ capability of adapting their strategies to multiple sets of conditions over time and across areas, is also discussed. We conclude our analysis by investigating actions which could be implemented to allow the unexploited economic, social and cultural potential of small-scale fisheries in Italy to be developed.


Common Fisheries Policy Local Management Plans Illegal Unreported and Unregulated fishing Territorial Use Rights for Fisheries Co-management 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saša Raicevich
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Fabio Grati
    • 2
  • Otello Giovanardi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Paolo Sartor
    • 3
  • Mario Sbrana
    • 3
  • Roberto Silvestri
    • 3
  • Romano T. Baino
    • 4
  • Franco Andaloro
    • 5
  • Pietro Battaglia
    • 6
  • Teresa Romeo
    • 6
    • 7
  • Massimo Spagnolo
    • 8
  • Mark Dubois
    • 9
  1. 1.Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA)ChioggiaItaly
  2. 2.Institute for Biological Resources and Marine Biotechnologies, National Research Council (CNR-IRBIM)AnconaItaly
  3. 3.Centro Interuniversitario di Biologia Marina ed Ecologia Applicata “G. Bacci” (CIBM)LivornoItaly
  4. 4.Regional Agency for Environmental Protection, Tuscany Region (ARPAT)LivornoItaly
  5. 5.Stazione Zoologica Anton DohrnPalermoItaly
  6. 6.Stazione Zoologica Anton DohrnMessina (ME)Italy
  7. 7.Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA)Milazzo (ME)Italy
  8. 8.MablySalernoItaly
  9. 9.WorldFish Myanmar, Department of Fisheries, West Gyogone, Insein TownshipYangonMyanmar

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