Ustica Island Protected Marine Area
Ustica Island Protected Marine Area, here the marine biodiversity has been protected for over 30 years, and it was the local fishermen themselves who wanted the establishment of the first marine reserve in Italy to protect a sea that is unique in the world and its biodiversity.
Ustica Island Protected Marine Area, established in November 1986, it covers over 15,000 hectares. A paradise for divers and sea lovers, the AMP works together with the local community to protect and manage the marine environment and the territory. Numerous species live and meet here including the oceanic Posidonia, the brown grouper, tuna, amberjacks, snappers, barracudas as well as octopuses and lobsters. The Ustica Island Protected Marine Area of Ustica is a marine paradise to discover.
UNIQUE BIODIVERSITY IN THE WORLD
The Ustica Island Protected Marine Area (AMP) extends for 15,951 hectares, covering approximately 15 km of coastline. The AMP (see zoning) is divided into three protection zones: Zone A of integral reserve (no take zone), Zone B of general reserve, and Zone C of partial reserve. The Ustica MPA is also a Site of Community Interest (SIC) for its environmental value and the conservation of habitats and marine species of Community interest (Habitat Directive 92/43 / EEC of 2.05.1992).
The AMP protects the oceanic Posidonia prairie and its organisms including the bivalve Pinna nobilis; a fish fauna of great biodiversity and many protected species, such as the Caretta caretta sea turtle, various cetaceans (especially bottlenose dolphins and dolphins). In addition, the AMP protects the pink shrimp, Plesionika narval, as a species of environmental interest and a resource for local fishing.
The Ustica Island Protected Marine Area is responsible for monitoring the ecosystem in collaboration with universities and research bodies, coordinated by the Ministry of the Environment. Annual checks are carried out on the flora and fish fauna, but also on the compatibility with fishing activities and tourist use. Another activity of the Marine Area is dedicated to dissemination and teaching. For this purpose, Snorkeling and canoe tours with transparent bottom are organized within the integral reserve area. Underwater fishing is not allowed throughout the area.
MANY ACTIVITIES & PROJECTS
The activities implemented by the Ustica Island Protected Marine Area are varied and have different purposes. They are aimed at environmental monitoring, teaching and environmental education, surveillance but also to provide correct information. The Ustica Island Protected Marine Area also aims to manage the coastal and marine environment in a sustainable way by working with the island’s productive activities connected to the sea (such as diving, fishing, tourism) to find common and effective solutions so that these activities can produce and to ensure a strong economy for the island, but also to protect the sea. The Information Center is the operational headquarters of the marine area of Ustica and in the summer season, periodically hosts conferences and exhibitions with a room dedicated to tourists and visitors arriving on the island.
AMP WELCOME CENTER
Zone A of Integral Reserve – It extends for 60 hectares from the promontory north of Spalmatore Point to Megna Point, for about a kilometer and a half wide, at sea. It is an environmental protection zone that allows fish to repopulate and marine ecosystems to exist far from the impact of man. In this area all forms of fishing, navigation, access and parking with boats of any type and any activity that could damage the flora and fauna are prohibited. Bathing is allowed at specific points.
Zone B of the General Reserve – It extends for about 8000 hectares from Cavazzi Point to Omo Morto Point and affects almost the entire northern part of Ustica, up to three miles from the coast. Called “Buffer Zone” as it completely surrounds zone A of integral reserve. In this area it is forbidden for divers any form of fishing and / or sampling, whether they are equipped with self-contained breathing apparatus or not. Underwater photography and sport fishing with stationary or tow lines are allowed (with prior authorization). Professional fishing is allowed only with permission.
Partial Reserve Zone C – Includes the southern sector of the island covering about 8000 hectares. Professional fishing is allowed with prior authorization, all forms of sport fishing are allowed, within the limits of the law. Currently there is a law in force that prohibits underwater fishing.
The reserve istitutional website is: www.ampustica.it
The Ustica Island Protected Marine Area is also famous for the possibility of Snorkeling on the surface of the water with the only use of mask and snorkel, immersed in myriads of fish now accustomed to the presence of man that will touch your body. As soon as you enter the water, Salpe, Occhiate, Castagnole and Pavoncelle will meet you in search of some breadcrumbs and you will live a unique and unforgettable experience. The Ustica Island Protected Marine Area indicates three sites where Snorkeling is recommended, but of course you can do it all over the island, the recommended sites are Sidoti cove, Aquario cove and Fishermen’s Village. You can also rely on specialized guides on the island who will make you discover even special and hidden things.
The use of transparent bottom canoes make the “A” area of the Protected Marine Area better appreciated. Do not miss the visit of the beautiful Secret Cave led by the staff of the Ustica Island Protected Marine Area.
The studios are rented with a short tourist lease without the provision of personal services (Article 4 of Legislative Decree 50 \ 2017).