Small-scale octopus fishery with clay shelter pots: intangible cultural heritage and sustainable practices

Writer : Laura del Valle Mesa
Year : 2024

The Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (UN, 1972) and the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (UNESCO, 1972) paved the way for the Declarations of the Rio+20 Sustainable Development Conference (UN, 2012) and the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (UNESCO, 2003).
Some of these international declarations aim to achieve goals relating to environmental, economic and social sustainability which incorporate culture as a transversal axis. The knowledge and ways of life preserved through past generations have proven themselves to be socially and naturally sustainable, and many of them constitute examples of intangible cultural heritage. Artisanal fishing with clay shelter pots for the common octopus, a resource threatened by overfishing, is an example of such heritage that would result in a more sustainable way of life and better protection of our ecosystem resources if safeguarded (Nocca, 2017).