Allow only small-scale, traditional (artisanal) fishing

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
    not assessed
  • Certainty
    not assessed
  • Harms
    not assessed

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study examined the effects of allowing only small-scale traditional (artisanal) fishing in an area on marine fish populations. The study was in the Adriatic Sea (Italy).





  • Commercial catch abundance (1 study): One site comparison study in the Adriatic Sea found that a marine protected area zone allowing only artisanal fishing activity for three years had higher overall commercial catch rates of five of seven species compared to unprotected areas openly fished.

About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A site comparison study in 2005–2008 of an area of rocky and sandy seabed in the Adriatic Sea off the southeast coast of Italy (Guidetti et al. 2010) found that the ‘buffer’ zone of a marine protected area fished only by artisanal commercial fishers for three years using trammel nets, resulted in higher catch rates of five of seven commercial fish species compared to unprotected fished areas outside. Catch rates varied between years but were overall higher inside the buffer zone than outside for: striped red mullet Mullus surmuletus (inside: 5–17, outside: 1–3 kg/km net/d ); large-scaled scorpionfish Scorpaena scrofa (inside: 5–7, outside: 0–1 kg/km net/d); peacock wrasse Symphodus tinca (inside: 2–3, outside: 0–1 kg/km net/d); common pandora Pagellus erythrinus (inside: 1–2, outside: 0–1 kg/km net/d) and common dentex Dentex dentex (inside: 1–2, outside: 0–1 kg/km net/d). Common seabream Pagrus pagrus and forkbeard Phycis phycis catches were similar (inside: 0–5, outside: 0–1 kg/km net/d). From January 2005 to July 2008, artisanal commercial fishing catches (exclusively using trammel nets) were monitored inside the buffer zone (1,885 ha, artisanal commercial fishing permitted since 2005 under a co-management protocol with local fishers) and in surrounding no-take zones (352 ha) in the Torre Guaceto Marine Protected Area (all fishing banned in the entire area from 2001–2005). Catch rates of the most important species (those contributing most to the differences between areas) were compared from 217 deployments inside the buffer zone and 66 outside over three years.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Taylor, N., Clarke, L.J., Alliji, K., Barrett, C., McIntyre, R., Smith, R.K., and Sutherland, W.J. (2021) Marine Fish Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Selected Interventions. Synopses of Conservation Evidence Series. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

All the journals searched for all synopses

Marine Fish Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Marine Fish Conservation
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