Fishing with the pros – a new take on responsible tourism
In the department of Var, in the south of France, a group of fishermen have come together to offer a new form of tourist activity that combines elements of sustainable, local and marine development.
Tourists interested in exploring the Var coastline can now do so at the first light of day on board a local fishing craft.
This fishing tourism initiative (known as pescatourisme in France) enables tourists to spend a morning fishing with the professionals, in particular helping them to haul in their nets, and so to learn a little more about the traditional occupation of small-scale coastal fishing.
This new approach to tourism is notable in two ways in that it helps firstly to promote and, secondly, to preserve the coastline. Ultimately, the aim is to extend the initiative to help raise awareness of forgotten fish species and provide accommodation in traditional fishermen’s homes.
There are a few precautions you will need to take to make sure you get the most out of your morning’s fishing:
- Make sure that you are appropriately dressed for the cool morning temperatures and for contact with the water and the morning’s catch (hiking-type clothes are fine)
- Bring sun cream and a hat or cap
- Guard against sea-sickness by wearing an acupressure wristband
- Follow your boat owner’s instructions at all times, particularly when nets are being hauled in and stowed
A morning’s fishing will give you the chance to get to know the local people and to better understand their skills and traditions.