Find Us

Hook, line and clinker: fisherman uses concrete statues to save the sea bed

Paolo Fanciulli – Fisherman and environmental activist
Paolo Fanciulli – Fisherman and environmental activist Copyright Euronews
Copyright Euronews
By Luca Palamara
Published on
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button
Copy/paste the article video embed link below:Copy to clipboardCopied

Sculptures scattered on the sea bed off the coast of Tuscany are preserving natural habitats and protecting flora and fauna from trawlers' nets


An Italian fisherman’s conservation campaign has seen him introduce an imaginative weapon in his battle with commercial trawlers - sculpture.

Paolo Fanciulli has scattered the sea bed in his home port of Maremma with statues.

They snag the trawlers’ nets and so protect the natural habitat of the Tuscany coast’s flora and fauna.

Paulo said: “The sea is my life and I felt very emotional when I had that idea of putting art into the sea, because if I had told myself ‘I’d better carry on putting concrete blocks in the sea’, maybe you would not even be here now; nobody would have listened to me.”

The fisherman has been trying to persuade the authorities to listen to him for forty years and believes more could be done to prevent large commercial vessels from operating illegally in Italy’s waters.

He said: “I have been saying this for years and nothing ever changes. In such protected marine reserves as Giannutri, Montecristo, Isola d’Elba, Capraia, Pianosa, overnight some boats switch their satellite system off and, through the use of tons of chain, they destroy the seabed completely. It is about time politicians take the field.”

Paolo Fanciulli has placed 40 statues in the sea, working with international artists and entrepreneurs to source sculptures. His ambition is to reach a hundred concrete statues on the sea bed, protecting nature while creating a new attraction for divers and visitors to the area.

Share this articleComments

You might also like

French conservationists warn that 4000-year-old menhir statues are at risk of erosion

Meet the conservationists saving rare animals in Uganda

Meet the cattle breeders-turned-conservationists protecting Colombia's Amazon wildlife