12.05.2010 -

Congress on the Tegnue of Chioggia. A proposal of recognition by UNESCO. Venice, Italy. 13 May 2010 4pm.

Piero MescalchinPoster

An event organized by Club UNESCO at Palazzo Zorzi for all those who which to protect a precious part of the sea. Just Published : watch the videos of the 4 presentations (Italian) in webstreaming


The presence of underwater rocks out to the northern Adriatic Italian coast has been known since the XVIII century, as recorded in the writings of the abbot G. Olivi. Local fishermen called them "tegnùe" because they can hold and break fishing nets. Fishermen generally avoid these areas but they well know that these bottoms are teeming with fish.

Tegnùe are found in the northern Adriatic Sea at depths of between 15 and 40 metres. Their dimensions vary from small isolated blocks to outcrops hundreds of metres wide. The largest and most well known outcrops are located out of Chioggia. Tegnùe are biogenic carbonate rocks built by marine organisms. They initially grow on existing hard bottoms formed by cemented sand. They have developed into natural reefs over the last 3-4.000 years. They differ from tropical coral reefs because here the main builder organisms are not corals but calcareous red algae, called "Corallines".

Divers can admire the high diversity of species inhabiting this unique Mediterranean environment. There are remarkable sponges, ascidians and sea anemones. Brittle stars and crustaceans, from the small hermit crabs to the majestic lobsters, populate the rocks. Among the fishes it is possible to find blennies, damselfish, brown combers, scorpionfish, conger and brown meagre. It is often possible to observe schools of cod that swim around the rocks.

The natural value of this unique habitat was recognized in August 2002 when it was constituted a Protected Area where fishing activities are prohibited. Protection for the area was promoted by the Chioggia Municipality, Research Institutes, the Regional administration, Ministry of Agricultural and Forestry Policy, Coast Guard, fishing associations and tour operators. Thanks to skill of Piero Mescalchin and his underwater films, today these diverse groups work together, within the "Tegnue di Chioggia" association, to protect and promote this unique environment.

Programme :

- Moderator

Paolo Avrese
delegato all’ambiente - sviluppo sostenibile Club Unesco Venezia.

- Speakers

Piero Mescalchin
presidente Associazione "Tegnue di Chioggia" - onlus

Giuliano Bellieni
prof. Ordinario Responsabile Unità Operativa di Padova
Istituto di Geoscienze e Georisorse – CNR

Gianluca Franceschini
dr. biologo - I.S.P.R.A. - Struttura Tecnico Scientifica Chioggia (Ve)

Cristina Stefani
prof. Associato di petrografia del Sedimentario Dipartimento di Geoscienze - Università di Padova

UNESCO Contact :
Philippe Pypaert at p.pypaert(at)unesco.org

Associazione "TEGNUE DI CHIOGGIA" Contact:
Website : www.tegnue.it
Email : tegnue(at)tegnue.it

<- Back to: UNESCO Office in Venice
Back to top