Fishing tourism as an alternative way to protect and pass fishing culture to the next generations and keep the fishing sector alive.
An initiative started in the region of Larnaca for experiencing fishing tourism in a fisheries-dependent region, Zygi (a small fishing village). The main objective was to provide entertainment and awareness to residents and tourists in order to protect the natural social and cultural environment through their contact and participation in traditional fishing activities. As well, as to engage fishermen with the tourism hospitality, the demonstration of their work, and the information on the marine environment and traditional ways of fishing.
The practice of fishing tourism was funded by the FLAG-ANETEL and included the upgrading of the ship vessels to be used for fishing tourism. The project funded fishing tours where the visitors could learn about the fishing activities as well as to get an explanation of the history of the village and the traditional fishing activity. Also, it provided information of the areas of particular ecological importance (for bird watching, walking, etc.), as well as information of the local monuments and things to see and visit in Zygi. The visitor was boarded on the fishing vessels and they were offered a traditional fishing trip and fishing or a trip practicing traditional ways of fishing (fishing nets, rod, etc.) A meal consisting of fish and seafood was cooked in a traditional way (the catch of the day) by the fisherman on board who also showed to visitor how to clean the fish, how to cook it and telling them different stories.
The amount of funding that was given for the reconstruction of the boat vessels and the tours was 100.000. Funding was from the Local Fisheries Strategy of Larnaca Area 2007-2013 (FLAG ANETEL) – European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.
Evidence of success
38 tours took in place
170 people took part in the tours.
an increase by 15% of the income of the fishermen
6 young people (ages up to 35) were in involved in the fishing tourism activity
Protection of the natural environment and the creation of marine protected areas and fish shelters,
Reduction of fishing effort and over-fishing and increase in marine resources
Creation of jobs and family business
Continuation in the period 2014-2020
The main difficulty was to convince the fishermen that fishing tourism can provide them income to survive and employment for their families as well as to promote the fishing culture. They needed to see and visit best practice from other FLAGs as well as to speak with other fishermen.
Potential for learning or transfer
Fisheries areas have many assets that are attractive to tourists. In addition to water, beaches and recreational activities, they can offer unspoiled environment, an abundance of fresh fish, and a rich cultural heritage linked to fishing. Therefore, fishing tourism can be a practice that enables fishermen to stay to the profession and at the same time to link fisheries to the tourism
economy and heritage.
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