Guida to the Tegnùe of Chioggia
new april 2015
The Tegnùe of
Chioggia - The reef of the Adriatic
presence of subtidal rocks off the northern Italian Adriatic coast has been
known since XVIII century, as recorded in the writings of Abbot
Giuseppe Olivi (1792). Local fisherman have
always called them "Tegnùe" for their ability to hold and tear fishing nets.
Although fishermen fear the damages the rocks can cause, they highly regard this
seabed for its abundance of fish. Tegnùe may be found in all the northern
Adriatic, at depths ranging from 15 to 40 metres. Their size varies from
small isolated blocks to structures hundreds of metres wide. Teguùe are biogenic
carbonate rocks, built by marine organisms, usually over hard substrates
previously formed by consolidated sand. Tegnùe are natural reefs which have
developed over the past 3-4,000 years. They differ from tropical reefs because
the main builder organisms are not corals but red calcareous algae, called
Creation of the Association
Tegnùe of Chioggia no-profit Association was created from a common passion for
the sea and from the need to study, enhance and protect the extraordinary and
still little known environment of the Tegnùe, particularly widespread off
Chioggia. Thanks to the project by the Paduan scuba-diver Piero Mescalchin,
which included scientific material, photographs and films, on 14th September
a protected area for the Tegnùe was established by the town council of Chioggia
and a request was submitted to the Government. On 5th August 2002, the Area of
the Tegnùe of Chioggia was declared to be a “No-Take Zone” by the Decree of the
Ministry of Agricultural and Forestry Policies, and any kind of fishing
activity was prohibited.
Establishing an area where fishing is prohibited, however, was not sufficient
for ensuring correct protection and management of this natural heritage. This
concern needed to be actively addressed by involving the town of Chioggia and
its people. On 4th December 2002, therefore, the “Tegnùe of Chioggia”
Association was founded. The Association's technical committee includes
representatives from various fields: research, fishing associations, tourist
operators and diving centres.
The presentation of a three-year project, focusing on knowledge,
valorisation and management of the No-Take Zone, was the first step taken by the
Association. The project was presented to Regione Veneto with the assistance of
all Executive committee and Technical-Scientific committee members. Economic
support was immediately granted thanks to the thorough knowledge and high
professional skills shown. The project started in July 2003. Its aim was
to perform wide-spreading educational activities, as well as to provide moorings
and diving routes, and test possible eco-compatible and sustainable tourism in
the area. Scientific activities, including sea bottom characterisation and
population status monitoring for the evaluation of management intervention
efficacy, were developed by research Institutes. The latter acted independently
within an agreement of cooperation. Where possible, the Association provides
support and offers training opportunities to young graduates through
The Central Institute for Scientific and Technological Research applied to
the Sea (ISPRA) carried out geomorphological surveys, with its oceanographic
ship and Side Scan Sonar techniques, over the entire area. It created a highly
important map showing rocky outcrops and traces of trawl fishing. It is
currently dealing with the local information system and with fishing-
related concerns. The Environmental Research Centre of the University of
Bologna has studied sites using 3D reconstruction of sea bottoms and non
destructive photography sampling in order to assess large-scale distribution of
epibenthic fauna. Instead, the Hydrobiological Station of the University of
Padua is performing a qualitative and quantitative analysis of fish fauna.
The Institute of Geosciences and Georesources (IGG) of the National Research
Council of Padua carried out petrographic, mineralogical and chemical tests
on biogenic rock samples taken from the Tegnùe of Chioggia. The Institute for
the Sciences of the Sea (ISMAR) of the National Council of Research of Venice
introduces scientific information gathered from the area of Chioggia within a
wider northern-Adriatic context. The Association is also deeply committed to
education and environmental diffusion. As well as creating information
material and the www.tegnue.it web site, it has developed a complete
educational project for primary schools with the assistance of experts from the
University of Padua. In the kit distributed by Regione Veneto, all class four
pupils received: a DVD video introducing the "Sea World of the Tegnùe", a fairy
tale and a games book.
Regarding tourism, 11 luminous buoys were launched within the no-take zone.
The buoys not only signal the reserve but are also the first step towards
environmentally compatible tourism. Mooring to the buoys, instead of anchoring,
avoids damaging the delicate carbonate rocks and the organisms growing on them.
The maps and guided routes prepared by various centres lead divers to the
most interesting points and increase diving safety.
In compliance with the institutional decree, the Port Authorities of Chioggia
and Venice issued an order forbidding within the No-Take Zone any form of
professional or sports fishing, the collection of seabed organisms, anchoring
and scuba diving outside the buoys. These measures aim at preserving
commercial species and the surrounding environment. The creation of a
repopulation and reproduction area, with time, may increase fish population in
the surrounding areas and guarantee fishing profitability.
Greater knowledge on these places, however, could lead to an increase in
anthropic pressure, caused by divers and fish poachers, and consequently to
environmental over-exploitation and degradation. For this reason, access
regulations are necessary which, in collaboration with law enforcement
agencies and local authorities, verify indiscriminate anchoring, number of
divers and buoys for each mooring, poaching and waste disposal.
Awareness-raising activities promoted by the Association towards tourists,
fishermen and local authorities also contribute to fighting the above actions.
points of immersion
sui nomi dei club per accedere alle informazioni
Mappa 3D per gentile
Per l'accesso ai punti di immersione
la normativa, il regolamento.
A.T.I.P.Via Cornaro Alvise, 3 - 35128 Padova
Tel.: (+39) 049 8070843
Fax: (+39) 049 8071939
Service 24h su 24h
Via delle Macchine,51/3 - 30175 Marghera (Ve)
Tel.: (+39) 041 5387252
Fax: (+39) 041 921969
Service 24h su 24h
The low depths, the influx of fresh water from the rivers and summer
sun radiation lead to water column stratification and a constant, strong and
sometimes very evident thermocline.
Seabed water temperature is rather cold even during summer so a 5 mm wetsuit is
recommended. Temperatures may drop even to 10°C below zero during winter.
Water transparency depends on many factors and varies from one area to another
throughout the day. Water turbidity is caused mainly by weather conditions,
especially southeasterly seas which make muddy seabed sediments rise in the
shallow waters. The best season for the abundance of fauna and flora and for
water transparency is the winter and spring period.
down the mooring line and reaching the sea bottom divers will find the cement
block. The line(s) leading directly to the routes start(s) from here. Different
types of lines have been used to easily distinguish them from the rest and
identify the return route. Each route is marked with arrows indicating direction
and distance to the return route.
Attention!! Route integrity is not guaranteed owing to
possible damages caused by anchors.