Test Design Lighthouse

The recovery of spiny lobster in Sardinia

Ganga srl will produce a short 12-25 minutes video documentary on one of the four good fishing practices identified in the project proposal of November 14th, 2012, specifically on the recovery project of spiny lobster, Palinurus elephas, in Sardinia. The objective is to document one of the most successful Mediterranean restock plan.


A report by Domitilla Senni


Despite the fact that Sardinia has always been one of the Italian regions with the highest productivity of lobster, recently the international community has become increasingly aware that the current management regulations were not longer sufficient to ensure a sustainable exploitation of the resource. The depleted state of spiny lobster compelled Prof. Angelo Cau from the University of Cagliari and Gianni Usai from the local fishers cooperative of Su Pallosu, to search for innovative management measures that would help the stock to recover . This joint collaboration lead in 1988 to the establishment of the first recovery area (4 km2 ) in central-western Sardinia,

closed to fishing.


Between 1988 and 2011 the conservation and recovery measures produced a biomass increase of 550%. Positive spill over effects were also recorded in the surrounding areas up to 20 km distance. The close collaboration between marine researchers and fishsers resulted in the collection of a large amount of data that allowed the University of Cagliari to expand their knowledge of this species revealing crucial aspects of its biology such as the size of the maximum reproductive potential. Following these important results, in 2009 the local regional government established other new 14 restocking areas, the most successful being those of Buggerru and Castelsardo.


Video Production

On June 9th Ganga’s directors, Francesco Cabras and Alberto Molinari travelled to Sardinia with Giovanni Buccomino (sound director) and Domitilla Senni (project adviser). Over the following five days, the film crew documented the recovery project by filming and interviewing those who are

the main driving forces or institutional representatives, documenting both the successes and downfalls of those fishers that are actively engaged and defend both the future of this resource and their own.


Day one – University of Cagliari

Meeting with Prof. Cristina Follesa, recovery project coordinator and interview with Prof.Angelo Cau (Head of Department of Animal Biology and Ecology).


Day two – Su Pallosu

Su Pallosu recovery area Due to the rough sea conditions which prevented fishermen to go out at sea, the day was dedicated to film the surroundings and interwiews with Gianni Usai founder of the fishers cooperative of Su Pallosu and with fishermen Mario and Matteo Falani, farther and son, which continue to be engaged in the recovery project despite the daily challanges facing by the small scale fishers in this area.


Day three – Su Pallosu

Prof. Cristina Follesa and PhD Andrea Alvino joined the crew in the early morning for a fishing trip on Falani’s vessel, recording of catches, tagging of spiny lobsters and release of juveniles in the marine protected area. The trip turned to be the most successful in terms of catches and release of the past three years.


Day four – Oristano

Filming and interviews with fishers at the port of Oristano, home to the largest fishing fleet of Sardinia. Interviews with fishermen coordinating one of the two recovery areas of Cabras. Meeting and filming Gianni Usai and Captain Cocco, former fisheries control inspector now retired,which, contrary to nowdays, very effectively chased and repressed pirate fishing..


Day five – June 14th, Buggerru

Buggerru recovery area The last day was dedicated to document the recovery project in Buggerru, with Prof Cristina Follesa, fishermen Massimo Scalas and his two sons, and the administor of the muncipality. The crew went for a fishing trip and release of juveniles in the protected area. A phone interview was arranged on board with the Sardinia government Council member responsible for fisheries, Oscar Cherchi.



Project partner:


Via Leonessa 18

00189 Rome







Report 2013