"You did not kill the fish only to keep alive and to sell for food, he thought. You killed him for pride and because you are a fisherman. You loved him when he was alive and you loved him after."
The Old Man and the Sea (E. Hemingway)
Small-scale artisanal fishing is not only one of the oldest vocations in the world, which survives more than three thousand years of history: small-scale artisanal fishing is a way of life and of respecting the great sea, facing it with small vessels and competing with its resources on equal terms. It is an art that is still handed down from generation to generation and is of great cultural, social and economic value for our coastal communities.
Small-scale fishing, with small fishing boats equipped with passive and selective tools, small businesses, often family-run, are the beating heart of small-scale artisanal fishing: a heritage that we must protect and enhance for the sustainable management of fish resources and of environmental policy.
By preserving the most ancient fishing traditions, the small artisanal fishermen adopt implicitly sustainable habits and behaviour: they are dedicated to maintaining a healthy and balanced relationship with the sea and its resources. They only capture what is needed, thus minimising wastefulness and accidental catches.
Small artisanal fishing is characterized by the greater use of man's physical strength and by the use of mainly passive and selective fishing tools, capable of exerting a limited fishing effort on the biological resources of the sea.