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The Marine Reserve of the Flegrean Islands
"The Kindom of Neptune"
Tiny Vivara, to the west of Procida
There are seven towns on the three islands, Ischia, Procida and Vivara that have parts of their municipal coastal areas included in the Regno di Nettuno protected marine reserve. These towns are Barano d'Ischia, Casamicciola Terme, Forio, Ischia, Lacco Ameno, Serrara Fontana, and Procida. The first six are all on Ischia. The protected land area of the entire marine reserve is just over 52 square km (just over 20 sq. miles); the protected waters cover an area of around 11 hectares (around 27 acres).
The reserve has five different zones of protection, each with its own restrictions; they are designated A, B, B.n.t., C and D, with zone A being the most restrictive. Some general restrictions, however, apply to all of the areas, regardless of zone: unless otherwise provided by law, the various species of plant and animal life may not be disturbed. There is no bathing, navigation, mooring, docking, use of marine engines, or water skiing. Animal and plant life may not be damaged or taken. Neither archaeological nor geological samples may be taken or disturbed. Dumping of any sort of toxic or polluting substance onto the land or into the water is likewise prohibited. Open fires may not be used.
Restrictions by zone:
The village of Sant'Angelo d'Ischia - in Zone BZone A (most restrictive) comprises the coastal waters on the west coast of the island of Vivara (that is, facing Ischia) and those near the Catena shoal at the southern end of the Ischia channel. The only activity permitted in those waters are rescue, surveillance and maintenance operations.
Zones B and B n.t. (less restrictive than A) - This is the "general" reserve, including the waters in front of eastern coast of the island of Procida, all of the waters around the island of Vivara, the Ischia Bank (off the south-eastern coast of Ischia), and the waters in front of various designated points around the island of Ischia. These areas permit bathing, snorkeling, scuba diving, boats under sail, rowboats and, with some restriction, motorized passenger access to cruise vessels, mooring and anchoring at specified spots, local commercial fishing, sport fishing and aquafarming (i.e., the cultivation of fish, crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic plants for commercial purposes. Zone B.n.t. (standing for the English term "no-take) is part of zone B, however, and here there are absolute prohibitions of all professional or sport fishing, unauthorized sport diving, and aquafarming.
Zone C is actually a partial reserve area. It comprises the rest of the waters around the three islands with the exception of the Procida channel and some waters north of Point Imperatore on the island of Ischia. Most of zone C is, thus, open to to sport boating, sport fishing
and mooring in authorized areas.
Zone D exists mainly to safeguard marine mammals and is located for the most part in the so-called Cuma Canyon, off the north-western coast of the island of Ischia. Net and trawl fishing is permitted. Marine mammals may be observed.
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