Al Hoceima National Marine Park is rich in Mediterranean biodiversity. However, artisanal fishersmen live in a precarious socio-economic situation (such as poverty and unemployment). The artisanal fishing sector is indeed weakened by the lack of infrastructure and unsustainable human practices (such as use of driftnets, dynamite fishing, poaching, and disturbance to ospreys). In addition to this, the fishing sector is vulnerable to climate change. The combination of these factors impacts the stock of fishery resources and affects negatively the fishers’ livelihoods.
In this context, the applied solution consists of the integration of international environmental standards in fishing in accordance with the Mediterranean policies and the prohibition of use of driftnets (major cause of the decline in fish stocks) which are replaced by sustainable fishing gears (traps in Alfa and selective long-lines). The solution also supports the creation of a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) for sustainable fisheries, and mobilized fishers around the eradication of the illegal fishing.
A revolving fund for the acquisition of sustainable fishing material is also part of the solution. This fund supports the maintenance of the fishing activities while making them more sustainable, thus avoiding a serious economic and social crisis.
As a result, 3,000 artisanal fishers benefited from an ecosystem-based participatory planning program to help them identify the main challenges threatening the sustainability of the fishery sector and innovative responses to tackle theses challenges. The fishers now play a key role as a part of a Monitoring and Surveillance Committee which is in charge of the fight against illegal fishing in the Marine Park of Al Hoceima.