Tunisia: Marine resources – Prerequisite for developing a sustainable blue economy in Tunisia, according to Ftdes

Tunis/Tunisia — The rational exploitation and preservation of marine resources, the coastline and the health of the marine and coastal domain, the adoption of a social and solidarity economy, the awareness of youth to environmental problems and the construction of A deep waterport are, according to a recent study by the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES), the necessary prerequisites for the development of a sustainable blue economy in Tunisia.

Thus, for a rational exploitation and preserving marine resources, the study entitled: “The blue component of sustainable development in Tunisia: inventory and prospects”, proposes a more intensive control of the fishing activity by the competent authorities, in order to ensure compliance with regulations concerning authorized fishing areas, biological rest periods for the different species, minimum catch size and use of authorized mesh sizes, etc.

The forum also suggests multiplying prospecting campaigns to revise the biological rest periods according to the state of resource exploitation, to develop a fishing strategy for each fishing area, to reduce the fishing effort exerted on overexploited resources and to take initiatives to declare protected areas where the practice of fishing would be strictly prohibited and others where artificial reefs would be built.

The FTDES also calls for the encouragement of small-scale fishing, which is less destructive and less energy-intensive, and for the undertaking of operations to repopulate coastal areas, particularly lagoons, using marine fingerlings produced in the hatcheries of research institutions.

It also considers it necessary to ensure regular supervision of fishermen, to encourage them to organize themselves into structures capable of defending their interests and to create a fund to support them in case of need.

// Coastal preservation: Regular monitoring recommended //

The forum considers that coastal management must integrate all the components of socio-economic activities and that lagoon environments, which are fragile and subject to ever-increasing anthropogenic pressures, must be subject to regular monitoring to determine the state of their health. eutrophication in order to imagine the appropriate development strategy.

To this end, development projects must protect the public domain and the administration must be very firm in authorizing industrial projects, particularly with regard to the direct and indirect impacts of discharges into the surrounding environment. Regular and rigorous checks of the industrial units in operation must be carried out to ensure the fate of the waste and the polluting substances discharged.

In addition, intensive marine fish farming organisms must be subject to health checks throughout the rearing period with bacteriological analyzes of water and sediments and regular monitoring of the introduction of exotic species and invasive.

Regular monitoring must also be carried out for marine areas at risk in order to detect any type of water pollution (hydrocarbons, heavy metals, etc.).

To mitigate the effects of climate change, the FTDES calls for the replacement of fossil fuels by renewable energies, solar and wind, and the use of public transport to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Still with a view to ensuring sustainable development based on a blue economy, the FTDES study recommends involving citizens and civil society in the preparation of development and planning projects in the country as well as in the monitoring of their implementation and in raising awareness among future generations (primary and secondary school students) of environmental problems by setting up teaching programs dedicated to this purpose and delivered by specialists.

Finally, the Forum insists on the need to build a deep-water port to help create jobs and develop other activities, particularly leisure activities, which would create a real tourism and economic dynamic.

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