PESCATOURISME, a innovant initiative in Marseille in France


The pescatourisme is an activity of tourism that provides an opportunity for professional fishermen to welcome tourists on their boat, for a morning or a day. They offer to passengers aboard to discover the traditional crafts of small coastal fisheries.

This activity was born approximately 20 years ago in Italy. It was created on the initiative of the LEGAPESCA, the national association of fishing cooperatives and assimilated activities, affiliated to the National League of Cooperatives and Mutual insurance companies, through the project of the consortium PEI-Progretto economica ittcaturismo i pescatori, to answer the questioning on the halieutic resource.


In Italy, the pescatourisme was made possible by the publication of a decree of law authorizing passengers to go aboard armed fishing boats. France had not the adapted regulatory framework. So, it was necessary to determine an appropriate regulatory Framework.

In France, the first initiatives of implementation of the pescatourisme took place, in region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur in 2009, from the department of the Var through the project « Pescatourisme 83 « carried by the association from Marseille : Marco Polo EA. This project, of a duration of 3 years, allowed to define the general framework of the pescatourisme from pilots experiments made during summer months. Exceptional authorizations were delivered by the Ministry of Ecology and sustainable development. In 2009 and for the first time in France, 5 fishing ships were allowed

to practise the pescatourisme under conditions. In 2010, these conditions were softened, allowing the small boats with a single crew member (7 boats) to take on passengers. At the end of the project, more than 450 passengers were embarked. In 2010, another French territory, the Bay of Arcachon, was able to begin to practise this activity from the model developed by MPEA.

The article 227, of the ministerial decree of November 23rd, 1987, defining the conditions of passengers loading aboard armed fishing boats over 12 meters will definitively be reformed in April, 2012. He will allow the exercise of the pescatourisme in a definitive and permanent way. A doctrine of the pescatourisme will then be adopted by the Interregional Direction of the Sea to put the statutory frame of this activity for the whole Mediterranean facade.

These reforms were established by taking into account the results of the experiment in the Var. Currently, a small workgroup, within the DDTM of the Var was initiated, with the participation of MPEA, to formulate proposals for regulatory Framework for the future doctrine of the pescatourisme.


The principles of the pescatourisme are based on those of the sustainable development :

• An economic efficiency, by a Generative Activity of Income allowing to strengthen the income of the fishermen through a diversification by tourism. In the Var, the pescatourisme represents between 30 and 70 % of the daily average figure of affair of a fisherman of a boat at least of 10m.

• A social equity, through the valuation of an ancestral heritage: the job of professional fisherman and the marine coast;

• Protection of the environment by reducing fishing effort. During the practice of the pescatourisme, the amount of fishing gear is proportionally decreased on the place occupied by the embarked passengers.

Today, all the fishermen who practise the pescatourisme claims this reduction as a good practice of management of the halieutic resource.

The pescatourisme was one of the first steps of diversification of the artisanal fisheries. It joined in a logic of maritime local development.

The tourist vector turned out as a good tool of promotion and conservation of the coast. It is however necessary to balance its use so that it does not subordinate the marine coast to its own logic of exploitation.

« Pescatourisme 83 « was recognized as a good practice by the European Commission of fisheries :


Logo pesca petit
Rémi Bellia
Coordinator of the project «Pescatourisme 83»
09 50 66 06 85 / 06 62 42 28 86

 Presentation of PescaTourisme

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