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Italy-South Africa bilateral workshop on “Green solutions and marine biodiversity for a sustainable blue growth”

Gqeberha: 1-2 December 2022


Blue growth represents, for both Italy and South Africa, a very important source of economic development, given the abundance of marine resources that are available, where marine ecosystems (and associated biodiversity) represent the natural capital that must be preserved.

Adaptive strategies that unify the management of environmental risks and actions intended to support economic growth are required to exploit natural resources safely and promote sustainable societal development. These are some of the underlying concepts that inspire the emerging blue economy sector.

Italy and South Africa, due to their geographic position and the thousands of kilometres of coastlines, share a strong common interest in the sustainable economic sectors that can be accessed and developed with a rationale and innovative approach to the blue economy practices.

This bilateral workshop aims to bring together Italian and South African researchers and institutional government representatives with an interest in several disciplines of the marine sector.

Collaborations on themes such as sustainable fisheries, aquaculture and ecological solutions for the coastal systems in a context of preservation of the natural systems and marine biodiversity will be discussed, aiming at building strong and mutually interesting cooperation.


DAY 1 – 30 November 2022

Visit the mariculture facility at the East London Industrial Development Zone (ELIDZ)

[by invitation only]


DAY 2 – 1 December 2022

Opening day 2

8:00 – Registration


9:00 – Introduction

Dr. Pierguido Sarti
Science and technology attaché: Embassy of Italy in South Africa

9:10 – Formal opening

Dr Thandi Mgwebi
Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Internationalisation
Nelson Mandela University

HE Paolo Cuculi
Ambassador of Italy

SESSION 1 – Sustainable Fisheries

9:30 – Morning session

Facilitator: Bernardino Sergio Malauene

  • Luca Bolognini: Recognising the value of biodiversity and ecosystem health toward more sustainable fisheries: Opportunities from the Italian National Biodiversity Future Center
  • Patrick Vrancken: Legislation of Fisheries in South Africa
  • Simone Libralato: Toward Oceans’ twin: modelling approaches from physics to fish and fisheries

10:30 – 11:00 – Break


  • Warren Potts: SA Sustainable fisheries under a climate change scenario in South Africa
  • Carlotta Mazzoldi: sustainable fishery of vulnerable species: a challenging goal for management
  • Anna Nora Tassetti: Tracking, data collection and marine biology: fishing fleets in the information age
  • Kerry Sink:  Marine Protected Areas in South Africa – past and future
  • Q&A and plenary debate

12: 40 – 13:40 Networking lunch

SESSION 2 – Aquaculture

13:40 – Afternoon session

Facilitator: Luca Bolognini

  • Domitilla Pulcini: Sustainable aquaculture In Italy: an overview of the sector, its characteristics, perspectives and challenges
  • Niall Vine: Overview of the status of south African aquaculture
  • Fabrizio Capoccioni: Research and innovations for low-impact aquaculture

15:00 – 15:20 – Break


  • Clifford Jones: Integrating aquaculture into a circular economy
  • Alessio Bonaldo: New sustainable aquafeeds, towards the carbon neutrality
  • Federico Nassivera: The New consumers generation and their awareness of sustainable aquaculture products
  • Langley Gace: Submersible Open Ocean Aquaculture Off Southern Africa
  • Q&A and plenary debate

DAY 3 – 2 December 2022

SESSION 3 – Sustainable ecological solutions

8:00 – 9:00 – Registration


9:00 – Morning session

Facilitator: Magda Minguzzi

  • Janine Adams: Restoration of estuaries for the delivery of multiple ecosystem services
  • Federica Costantini: Sustainable Blue Economy through the COST Action SEA-UNICORN (Unifying approaches to Marine Connectivity for Improved Resource Management for the Seas)
  • Laura Airoldi: Challenges and opportunities in marine restoration
  • Francesca Porri: Nature-based solutions for urban coastlines

10:30 – 11:00 – break


12: 40 – 13:40 Networking lunch

SESSION 4 – Heritage/Indigenous knowledge

13:40 – Afternoon session

Facilitator: Francesca Porri

  • Magda Minguzzi: First Indigenous Peoples Heritage sites: the fish traps along the coast of the Eastern Cape
  • Rachel Wynberg and Jesse Lavelle: Conservation and equity in marine biodiscovery in South Africa
  • Ernesto Azzurro: Using Local Ecological Knowledge to track the change of marine resources: a Mediterranean experience

15:00 – 15:20 – Break


  • Eleonora Ciccotti: Artisanal fisheries  and Mediterranean coastal lagoon management: historical overview, local traditions and perspectives
  • Boudina McConnachie: Weaving a story: ecomusicology as a bridge between science and community
  • Lesa La Grange: Maritime and Underwater Cultural Heritage
  • Rose Boswell: Researching Ocean and Coastal Cultural Heritage in Africa: Trajectories, Applications and Audiences
  • Glenn Holtzman: Music performance or projection of the “Water Works Movements.”
  • Closing remarks