THE ECO-SUTAINABLE FISHING PATH
Sharesalmo is dedicated to eco-tourism and eco-fishing. Eco-sustainability means to use resources responsibly, thinking of the future generations. This can be applied also to tourism and fishing. From this point of view, the word “path” represents a track/a choice which must be followed. For this reason, we invite you along an ideal path where you can find out what is eco-sustainable in Sharesalmo area, and we ask you to follow it in a sustainable way.
In this web-site section you can find information and focus about fishing and tourism and some suggestions to practice them in an eco-sustainable way. Besides, here you can also discover Sharesalmo places between Northern Italy and Switzerland.
Fishing is an ancestral activity that requires patience, serenity, time, devotion, and passion. It may be a good occasion to get closer to nature and think about our relationship with the environment, an opportunity to flee from stress and feel the contact with nature. Going fishing doesn’t mean necessarily to capture fish: coming back home without anything is not a failure. Moreover, since the fisherman is one of the main person in contact with water ecosystems, he is one of the first who can notice problems (as lack of reproductions, wild fish population composed by adults only, decrease of species, fish die-off, spills of substances).
TOWARDS AN ECO-SUSTAINABLE FISHING
Fishing can be eco-sustainable using some arrangements. A good eco-sustainable fisherman is someone that fishes without overfishing, holds only what he can eat within his family, manages the captures avoiding small fish or good reproductive animals in order to preserve the available fish resource. He chooses the equipment thinking of his target to cause the least damage (hook without barb, artificial baits with single hook, compostable artificial baits). He thinks about the right place where fishing is better: it must be comfortable to take the fish to the bank and, if necessary, to put it back into the water avoiding throwing it. Once he has captured the fish, he unhooks it under water, using gloves or wet hands to less damage the fish mucus. He touches gently the animal. He takes one picture only to remember the capture, not a whole photoshoot. He doesn’t get as far as the stream bed with his car, he doesn’t abandon wastes, he doesn’t release bait fishes into the water, he doesn’t restock fish population by himself.
Attention: some of these suggestions are mandatory in some areas, get informed.
THE VALUE OF FISHING NATIVE SPECIES
The native species represents a unique target for the fisherman, something he can’t find anywhere else. Hard to fish since they are well adapted to that specific environment, the native species stir up strong emotions and the awareness of being in a preserved area, where the past mixes with the present, where what has existed, is still existing and will survive through our actions.
THE FISHING OF THE NATIVE SALMONIDS
The water managers placed into Sharesalmo area (Ticino, Verbano, Sesia) are several and each has got its own fishing rules. Some of these rules are common to each area and regard, for example, the minimum size of the fish captured, the maximum number of specimens belonging to a species to withdraw, the stop of fishing activity during the pre-reproductive and the reproductive period and the management of the exotic species. Some fishermen live these rules as a deprivation, but it is only a matter of good management practices, useful to give fish the chance to reproduce, increase in number and save from extinction. For example, animals suffer from stress and may not finish the reproduction if they are disturbed immediately before or during the reproduction. Furthermore, it is important to oppose exotic species (as Silurus glanis) to preserve native species. Getting well-formed wild populations is an advantage also for the fisherman.
THE DAMAGE OF THE RESTOKING GOT USING EXOTIC FISH
Years ago, we weren’t aware of some aspects including the damage that restocking using exotic fish materials could cause to our ecosystems; it was common practice to use fish coming from different places for restocking. Now we know that this practice is harmful because it damages the local fish biodiversity. Even if only few of the imported exotic species survive, a percentage can adapt, reproduce, and increase in number until becoming invasive, competing with native species for resources, causing ecosystem imbalance and environmental, health, and economic problems. The brown trout, introduced in the area where the marble trout was present, pollutes its genetics being able to mix with the marble trout creating prolific hybrid specimens; this slowly gets to the disappearance of the marble trout pure genetics. The European grayling has been introduced into our fresh water for several years because it is easier to farm and reproduce instead of the Adriatic grayling one, this led to the decrease of the native grayling.
MOVING FISH: A WRONG PRACTICE
Moving fish from a water course to another one is a common practice for fishermen. The release of unused bait fish into the fishing place, even if they come from another site, is common too. These practices are wrong because of the health risk and the possibility of introducing exotic species. The released animals may have diseases or parasites not yet present in the release site and can compromise the wild local populations.
ABANDON BAITS AND LINES: A DAMAGE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
Fishing lines and baits can be found along the river banks. When you get ready to fish or you have tangled the line and have to cut it, you are kindly requested to pick up the discarded materials, even in case of very little pieces. These pieces might keep staying in the environment and cause damages, could be eaten by animals, or could be twisted around them causing death. Sometimes it may happen also to find empty bait boxes: please, take them back home to be wasted properly. Fishing or even walking through a clean place is more enjoyable and relaxing.
SINKER AND FISHING
Lead is a very used heavy metal. It is a toxic material that, when released in the environment, can be eaten or, in a dusted state, can be bioaccumulated in living beings causing hard damages and leading to death. Also, lead fishing equipment and materials can pollute the aquatic environment. Sinkers are often part of the line since they are used to make the bait heavier. In case of the line loss, also sinkers are lost. It may also happen to overturn the sinkers box and not to rescue all the sinkers. We invite you to prefer other materials instead of lead, as tungsten and stones, and to pay attention using sinkers.
ECO-SUSTAINABILITY: TRADITIONS AND LOCAL PRODUCTS
In the wide Sharesalmo area there are many interesting places to visit and local products to taste. You can find information about naturalistic places, architectural topics, museums, etc. in tourist offices. Besides, if you are in the area, you can taste the missoltini (fish with salt), stewed trout, fried fish, marinated fish but also cheese, salami and tasty traditional dishes.
Do you want to be sustainable?
- Respect nature of the place where you are
- Reduce food, water, and electrical waste
- Prefer public transport and choose sensitive to environmental need accommodation
- Taste local dishes
- Prefer local products
- Discover the characteristics of the location where you are
- Get informed about local conservation projects
- Get informed about the conservation state of the species you want to fish
- Do not fish native species during the reproductive period
- Do not abandon fish lines, hooks and decrease the use of lead
- Touch gently the hooked fish paying attention to it
- Use fishing techniques having a small impact on fish
- Do not destroy the environment to get it more comfortable for fishing
- Do not move fish from a water course to another one and do not release fish eggs or specimens
- Avoid the surplus of fish, withdraw only the quantity you can eat