Local fisheries communities from France, Italy and Tunisia will be sharing ideas on sustainable economic diversification, thanks to a new cooperation project run by the Etruscan Coast FLAG in Tuscany (IT).
ENSAMBLE – which stands for Expertise and Networking to Sustain Actions in the Mediterranean through Blue and Local Economy – aims to create a network of fishing communities and companies across these countries and promote closer cooperation between public and private actors, which play a key role in coastal management, in the maritime sector and in environmental sustainability.
The project would see North Mediterranean fishing communities in Italy and France using their experience to help Tunisia’s West Mediterranean communities in Tabarka, El Haouria and Bizerte to come up with sustainable ways to promote the blue economy linked to traditional fishing. This could include tourism, catering and fish processing, with new jobs created that might attract more women and young people to the sector. Initiatives to enhance the entrepreneurial skills of fisheries operators would add to local development and aid in diversification.
Working together with communities in Italy and France that already have an understanding CLLD (Community-Led Local Development), a local strategy to set up FLAG-type models in Tunisia would also be formed.
The Etruscan Coast FLAG is partnering with professional associations of fisheries, aquaculture SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), municipalities and trade unions on this two-year cooperation project. ENSAMBLE has a budget of €390 154, of which 80% is funded by the EU (European Maritime and Fisheries Fund). Mediterranean-based cooperative, Petra Patrimonia Corsica, Italian environmental organization, Legambiente Toscana and WWF North Africa are project partners and the Tunisian Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries is supporting the programme.