Meeting at the Headquarters of UTAP – Union Tunisiènne de l’Agriculture et de la Peche de Sfax- in the Port of Sfax

The Mediterranean Sea is not only a vital source of sustenance for millions of people, but it is also a crucial ecological system that is facing numerous challenges. Fortunately, there are organizations like Slow Food Tebourba Association and their partners, who are taking action to address these issues and promote sustainability in the fishing industry.

On February 8, 2023, a momentous meeting was held at the UTAP Headquarters in the Port of Sfax, bringing together fishermen, exporters, shipowners, Tunisian companies, veterinarians, and other stakeholders to discuss the SUREFISH project. This project offers exciting opportunities for traceability, innovation, and sustainability in the catch and fishing industry in Tunisia and the Mediterranean.

The discussion was led by Ali Ben Messaoud and Franz Martinelli, who presented the SUREFISH project, and Domenico Letizia, who highlighted the importance of traceability and innovative technologies for the fishing supply chain. Professor Saloua Sadok, the director of the Laboratory of the Institut National des Sciences et Technologies de la Mer, also emphasized the significance of technological innovation and cooperation between fish operators in Tunisian companies for boosting exports abroad.

The meeting was not only a platform for sharing valuable insights and knowledge, but it was also an opportunity for fishermen to raise their concerns, particularly the alarming problem of plastic pollution in the sea. The blue crab, an invasive species that has been causing significant ecological and economic impacts, was also discussed. In response to these issues, the participants emphasized the importance of developing communication and information strategies to promote consumer confidence, with certification marks and IT applications, among others.

Overall, this meeting showcased the critical role of collaboration, innovation, and sustainability in the fishing industry. It was an inspiring example of how organizations and stakeholders can work together to address challenges and promote positive change in the Mediterranean and beyond.

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