The Mediterranean - WWF: together possible
“Are you scared?” asks Vito Giovanni (Gianni) De Biasi as we bounce through gentle chop in his small fishing boat. I am getting a bit damp from the spray over the bow, but I am not scared. I shake my head, and Gianni smiles. He is clearly as content as can be – master and commander plying the coastal waters of the Adriatic on a sunny May morning. “If I don’t go to sea every day, I go crazy,” says this lifelong fisherman. In the evenings, he makes pizzas in his hometown of Carovigno. “But at four in the morning, I want to be on my boat at sea,” he says. This passion drove Gianni to be one of a handful of fisherman who worked with authorities to establish the rules of the game for fishing in Torre Guaceto Marine Protected Area & Nature Reserve. The 2,227 hectare protected area was established in 1991, and closed entirely for fishing until 2001 to let stocks recover. Those early days were contentious.