29 Nov 2020
Baie de Melloula, Tunisia
Sustainable Tourism

Born from passionates of the marine world, this initiative carried by the association PINNA is located in a privileged setting, in a bay with preserved landscapes and isolated from the tourism of Tabarka in Tunisia.

Discover the local heritage and involve the population

The PINNA association’s mission is to raise awareness among the local population in coastal areas of the importance of preserving and enhancing the marine and coastal heritage, and to develop ecotourism as a sustainable source of income. In order to do this, it invests (marking out underwater trails), trains local actors (underwater hiking guide, tourist reception, identification of sites…) and organizes actions to raise awareness among the population (underwater photo competitions, exhibitions, discovery tours for classes…). A new way to discover the bay with the help of a motivated and voluntary team! This initiative, led by enthusiasts, was the subject of several scientific studies before it was set up, so as not to harm the biodiversity of the bay.

Did you say an underwater trail?

An underwater trail makes it possible to raise awareness among the population and visitors of the need to preserve and enhance the natural heritage, but also to promote ecotourism through the learning of an environment that is little known on land! It is the first underwater trail of the Tunisian coast.

This is achieved through the establishment of information panels immersed in the marine environment, its richness and the accompaniment of local guides trained underwater hiking, a first in Tunisia!

A broader project of environmental education and local development

This action is part of a larger program supported by the IUCN and led by the PINNA association for environmental education and local development to promote local natural and cultural heritage while creating new sources of income for people who share their heritage with visitors.

The people concerned by the project are mainly the families of fishermen in the Bay of Melloula. Fishing resources are declining and poverty is on the rise, pushing the association’s volunteers to be active on a daily basis to publicize their project and thus create bridges with travel agencies likely to market their tours on land and under the sea…

A local heritage to discover

Underwater hiking, snorkelling, fishing boat trips, meals at fishermen’s homes, meetings with local people, camping and yoga on the beach… everything here is done to promote well-being and the discovery of the marine heritage, in harmony with the environment and the people.

Staying a little more in the bay of Melloula is also to participate in the local development of this region.

"The underwater and coastal environment is not well known to all and requires protection through local governance and participatory management. Ecotourism is not only a key tool for raising awareness about the protection of this environment, but also an income-generating activity for local populations.Chokri MANSOUR is one of the founders of this project, with a Master's degree in marine biology.
An underwater trail in Tunisia, a sustainable innovation. | The Switchers
Ecomel Sustainable Tourism