Pescaturismo: tourist fishing or fishing tourist?
Francesco Bravin (Cultural Association Antropolis)
Paper short abstract:
Since 1997, a Sea Reserve protects the waters of the Cinque Terre. The fishing activity in Monterosso is dying, partly because of mass tourism, partly because the fish is disappearing. The local fishermen blame the Sea Reserve, but some of them found a new source of income: the "pescaturismo".
Paper long abstract:
The Cinque Terre are one of the most important touristic sites in Italy, renowned worldwide since its territory was declared a world heritage by UNESCO in 1999. Mass tourism had a heavy impact on the lives of the inhabitants, on one side opening new job opportunities, but on the other side favouring the disappearing of traditional activities such as fishing and wine-making. A Sea Reserve and a National Park aim to protect this fragile environment. Fishing was particularly important in Monterosso, whose men were the only fishermen in Cinque Terre, and whose women went to sell the fish in all the towns of the eastern Ligurian riviera. The salted anchovies of Monterosso were protected by Slow Food as an endangered local product. But now the traditional fishing activity is disappearing, just as the fish. Even if the Sea Reserve is bringing the fish back in the local waters, the last fishermen blame it for the crisis of their activity. Some of them, though, found a new source of income: "pescaturismo". Literally "fishing-tourism", it means taking some tourist on a fishing boat for a fee and showing them how the traditional fishing (used to) work: a touristic performance that puts on stage the local identity and also conveys the critique and resistance against environmental top-down policies.
Into the blue - cultures of the sea