The lucky 13 out of 10000.

After an arduous journey of climbing out of the trenches and on their way to Schipol, what do GAP2 Italian delegates have to say of their GAP2 experience? In this final instalment of the Italian-Dutch project exchange, ISPRA scientist Saša Raicevich shares comments, statements and ideas made by each Italian participant…

16. Trawling underway...

Saying goodbye to the North Sea…

Throughout two very busy and tiring days, every aspect of the experience was a positive one (even without the coffee and brioche at breakfast)! The trip to the sea reminded me of my first experiences on a fishing vessel; the feeling of discovering the new world of fisheries, and even a new underwater world. I would like to preserve, and in turn share with other fishermen, this sensation of “lightness” that occurred whilst starting to work again and how pleasant it was working together for a common goal.(Stakeholder)

It was a very intense experience. The field trip was very interesting because it was possible to directly experience the fishing activities and better understand the true dynamics of Dutch fisheries (including the most controversial aspects). It is a pity it was not possible to target the common sole. I hope that in the future there will be more opportunities like this one, which allow for communication. Being confronted with other realities can be an important stimulus to change, although changing could be a slow process.(Scientist)

It was a constructive experience although I felt that we only saw one side of the coin. This experience is teaching us that we need to work to create something very positive for not only all of us but also for the future, and our sons.(Fisherman)

15. A pulse trawler in the Dutch fleet

A Dutch pulse trawler…

I participated in this journey somehow by chance. I have come back with new ideas and am now closer to the world of ‘fisheries’, despite being an outside observer. In relation to what I do, I believe that the visit to the Dutch fishing market and fishery facilities will be very beneficial for my work (considering that the Chioggia fish market would soon be displaced to a new site). The journey was perfect. Despite the heterogeneity of our group, we got along very well. I would do it again if other opportunities like this arose.(Stakeholder)

A very interesting experience professionally, that allowed me to increase both my technical skills and knowledge. It is an experience that has several merits, particularly in allowing an exchange of perspectives and dialogue between different stakeholders and fishermen. Also we learnt that the Dutch fisheries, despite differing quite a lot from our fisheries, have some of the same issues.(Stakeholder)

My first impression of the Dutch fishery was one of a ‘fishery wonderland’. But, by talking with and asking questions to other fishermen, I felt that big and small problems are present everywhere in the world. I saw a completely different reality in comparison to Italy. It is more advanced in relation to their facilities, structure and organisation (for example with the selling and preservation of fish). However, I found that the life of fishermen is the same everywhere. I am coming back to Italy with a large bag of innovations, which I in turn hope to spread here. I wish to thank the organisers, biologists of ISPRA and everyone who supported and helped us. And thank-you to the entire group. (Fisherman: ElioDall’Acqua)

13. Scientific observations

Capturing some scientific observations…

The manner and simplicity by which we were together and openly expressing our points of view was very pleasant. It was interesting to have the opportunity to express our perspective on how to achieve common growth. Other possible occasions for such an exchange would be very beneficial.(Scientist)

I liked the exchange of perspectives within our group and within a different foreign ‘fishery reality’.(Stakeholder)

From my point of view, as a fisherman, I wish that I could see happening in the Chioggia fleet what I’ve seen in the Netherlands. Congratulations to everyone who organised the trip. We felt like the lucky 13 out of 10000… (Fisherman: Denis Padovan)

How the Dutch Ministry approached the issue of pulse trawling

Learning how the Dutch Ministry approached the issue of pulse trawling…

It was a nice experience, however I am not convinced that it would be a good solution for the Adriatic.(Fisherman)

“Who observed the most has more knowledge of the world, not who lived more.” 5th of July, 2014: It is possible that when thinking of his colleagues back home he would say “He is dead, but has not yet realised it.”(Fisherman)

I have greatly appreciated this journey, as well as the possibility of an exchange with another fishing fleet. This experience has allowed me to both see and learn new things. Thank you very much to the organisers and biologists from ISPRA. (Fisherman: Giorgio Fabris)

Everyone gathers for one last exchange photo

Everyone gathers for one last exchange photo…

It was a beautiful and successful experiment. What I liked the most was how our group was able to be patient, cheerful and unite with people from other countries. We spent the four days talking about fishing, asking questions to each other, complaining, discussing the past and finally thinking about the future. This experience has led to a thousand ideas on things to do in the market; fishing gears, controls and fish price. Steve was right, we will all be grateful for this experience for a lifetime. This experience will be useful and practical to help build, step-by-step, new ideas for the future.(Scientist: Saša Raicevich)

For more information please contact Saša Raicevich at

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