The aim of the project is to understand fishing grounds in the Northern Adriatic, by collating fishermen’s knowledge and data from on board scientific observations, trawl surveys and literature and oceanographic models.


To read a quick one page summary of the case study, its aims and achievements please click here.


Our progress so far

Through combining fishery-dependent and independent data sources, we want to:

  • identify and map fishing grounds
  • define fishing effort, catches and discards composition in these areas
  • define target and non-target species’ spatial temporal and distributions
  • identify spawning and nursery grounds (and therefore essential fish habitats) of the most exploited species, e.g. common sole, cuttlefish, scallops.
  • assess how commercial species’ distributions vary in relation to environmental variables.

The information will be available either to fishermen and fishery managers, and will facilitate the enforcement of a spatially explicit management in the framework of an ecosystem approach. Our progress to date is outlined below.

GAP2 trawl survey: The Summer fishing ban

GAP2 scientist, Dr. Saša Raicevich, provides an update on the third GAP2 Adriatic Trawl Survey, its results and the FAO-ADRIAMED meeting.

Dec 2014
36 Months On: Progress review from the Italian case study

GAP2's Italian case study, based on the Adriatic Sea, provides an update on progress made over the last twelves months.

Mar 2014
2nd Public Presentation of Trawl Survey Results to Fishermen

The 2nd annual meeting, "Fish resources in the Veneto Region Territorial Waters" was held on Friday 30th August at the Chioggia Town Hall.

Sep 2013
“Vital stage: jellyfish”: Scientist Gianluca at Sea

Gianluca Franceschini takes us through the vital signs of being a GAP2 scientist helping conduct a trawl survey in the Northern Adriatic.

Aug 2013
What is GAP2 giving us? Scientist Saša reflects.

Is this process easy? Oh, no! It’s hard, time consuming, sometimes frustrating, most often exciting, other times amazing. It’s a long process, but we are on the right path. Sasa reflects on GAP2.

Aug 2013
The 2nd GAP2 Adriatic Trawl Survey Begins!

The Italian GAP2 case study conducted the second (ever) Adriatic Trawl Survey in August. Watch the scientists and fishermen work together, exploring what's living in the Adriatic Sea.

Aug 2013
24 Months On: Progress Update for Italy Case Study

24 Months on, a progress report from GAP2's Italian case study...

May 2013
18 Months On: Progress Update for Italy Case Study

An update on the Italy case study investigating fish and fishing effort in the Northern Adriatic, 18 months into the GAP2 project.

Nov 2012
GAP2 Catalyses Commitment To Collaboration In Chioggia

ISPRA scientists present preliminary results of the first fishery-independent trawl survey to be conducted in the Adriatic to 60 fishermen.

Sep 2012
GAP2 Scientists Conduct First Adriatic Trawl Survey

Scientists begin their first fishery-independent trawl survey conducted in the Adriatic, following a summer's ban on trawling.

Aug 2012

Next Steps

November 2012. Over the next six months, we will focus on continuing our field work, analysing our early results and furthering collaboration between all those involved.


To understand the changes the Italian fishing industry is experiencing, watch this short film (in Italian) of three elderly fishermen from the area explaining how the fish population has changed during the 20th century.

The film is produced by Piero Mescalchin and HMAP researchers Sâsa Raicevich and Tomaso Fortibuoni.

People Involved

ISPRA People

Saša Raicevich

Lead Scientest

  • Research focuses upon applying an ecosystem approach to fisheries management in the Adriatic Sea, fisheries ecology and historical ecology.
  • Member of the ICES Working Group on Ecosystem Effects of Fishing and member of the core group of the ICES
  • Working Group on the Marine Strategy Framework Directive Descriptor 3+.
  • Leading on work package 2.


Case study scientist

  • Otello gained his PhD from the University of Bologna in 1977 and is now a senior fisheries biologist whose research interests focus upon marine fisheries’ biology and ecology.
  • He has coordinated 15 national and international research programmes addressing fish and bivalve stock assessment and culture, and the impact of trawling activity on the sea floor. He has authored over 100 scientific papers and over 100 technical reports.
  • Since 1991, Otello has been the head of the Chioggia branch of ISPRA, the Instituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale (Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research);  a public institute presently supervised by the Ministry of Environment.
  • e-mail:


Case study scientist

  • Gianluca graduated in Biological Sciences in 1991.
  • Since then, his research has focused upon data collection for commercial species and discards on board both commercial and research vessels, in specific sampling design for stock assessments, in marine as well as brackish environments.
  • e-mail:


Case study scientist

  • Tomaso completed his MSc in Environmental Sciences at the University of Ca’ Foscari in 2004 and completed his PhD at the University of Trieste in 2010.
  • He is now a researcher at ISPRA. He studies long-term changes in marine ecosystem and fish communities, the spatial distribution of marine living resources, participatory research and the bioaccumulation and biomagnification of toxic compounds in marine food webs.
  • e-mail:


Case study scientist

  • Born in Croatia, Igor completed his MSc in Marine Biology at the University of Padua in 2008. His research activities now involve fishery, fish biology and studies on the benthic communities.
  • Since 2006 he has been working on data collection onboard commercial fishing vessels in the northern Adriatic within several research projects including the Italian Data Collection Framework (a collaboration between the CNR-ISMAR and the ISPRA).
  • As an ISPRA researcher, he has been working on the GAP2 project since 2011 and on the BYCATCH project since 2009.
  • e-mail:


Case study scientist

  • Laura graduated in Marine Biology in 2008 at the University of Padova and has been working on the GAP2 project since 2012.
  • Laura started working at ISPRA by monitoring fish fauna around artificial reefs situated nearby mouth of the Po river. Since 2010 she has been sampling onboard commercial fishing vessels in the northern Adriatic Sea within the Italian Data Collection Framework (collaboration between the CNR-ISMAR and the ISPRA).
  • Her research activities also cover participation in the SOLEMON trawl survey and the BYCATCH project.
  • e-mail:


Case study researcher

  • Monica is an MSc student of the University of Padua (Dept. of Biology). Her MSc thesis is centred upon the GAP2 project, addressing the spatio-temporal distribution of target species in the northern Adriatic Sea.


Case study researcher

  • Camilla is an MSc student at the Department of Biology, University of Padua.
  • Her MSc thesis is centered upon the GAP2 project, mapping and identifying benthic habitats within the fishing grounds of the northern Adriatic Sea


Skipper involved in GAP2

  • Mario started fishing when he was 14 ys old in artisanal beam-trawl fishery.
  • He is now the skipper of an otter-trawl fishing vessel.


Fisherman involved in GAP2

  • Elio started fishing when he was 20, and is now a fishermen on otter-trawlers.


Skipper involved in GAP2

  • Giorgio started fishing at the age of 14 on traditional boats. He has now been fishing for over 40 years.
  • Since the late 70s he has been fishing with rapido trawls.
  • He fishes with his sons, Gionni and Alberto.


Skipper involved in GAP2

  • Denis started fishing 39 years ago, first on board on rapido trawlers and later on otter-trawlers.
  • He is the skipper of his boat, and fishes with his two sons as crew.


Skipper involved in GAP2

  • Marco started fishing when he was very young.
  • He is now the skipper of an otter-trawl fishing vessel.


Skipper involved in GAP2

  • A young skipper born in 1979, specialized in otter-trawl fishing.


Former skipper involved in GAP2

  • Renzo is 58 years old, and started fishing in 1968 in small fishing vessels.
  • During his career, he has fished with otter-trawls,  rapido trawls and mid-water pelagic trawls.
  • With his brothers, he now runs a fishing company, relating to mid-water pelagic trawls.


Skipper involve in GAP2

  • Sandro is the skipper of a small otter-trawl fishing vessels.


Adriano Mariani

Case study scientist

  • Adriano has worked as a researcher and consultant in the fields of fisheries and aquaculture since 1980.
  • At present, he coordinates all scientific and data collection projects and activities for the Unimar Consortium.
  • e-mail:

Simone Serra

Case study scientist

  • Simone has worked as a researcher and consultant in the fields of fisheries and aquaculture since 1997.
  • He is currently a consultant at the Unimar Consortium, where he coordinates scientific research projects about assessment of fisheries and aquaculture resources and data collection.
  • e-mail:

Andrea Fusari

Case study scientist

  • Andrea, has worked as a researcher and consultant in the fields of fisheries and aquaculture since 1990.
  • At present, she is a partner and consultant of Agei Scrl, an Italian research company specialised in the fields of fisheries and aquaculture, and a consultant of Unimar within the GAP2 project.

Stakeholder Participants


North Adriatic Sea Chioggia Case Study Overview

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