The Lagoon of Venice as a Ramsar Site


New report on Venice Lagoon launched on 14 April 2004

"The Lagoon of Venice as a Ramsar Site" is the title of an illustrated report prepared by Ramsar experts Michael Smart and María José Viñals, now published by the Province of Venice in Italian and English (copies of the nicely produced document can be ordered at: and a reprint of the English version is available here.)

As a follow-up to last year's seminar "Ramsar meets Venice" (cf. our short report, also providing an introduction to the Lagoon and its values:, Asessora Delia Murer of the Provincial Government, in charge of Hunting, Fishing and the Provincial Police, presented the document to the media on a fishing boat during a trip in the northern part of Venice Lagoon on 14 April 2004, followed by a rich tasting of the Lagoon's varied food products in a fishermens' hut near Mazzorbo island.

Ms Murer was accompanied by the mayors of some of the communes bordering the Lagoon, by biologist Giuseppe Cherubini, of the Provincial Office for Hunting and Fishing, by Professor Giampaollo Rallo, of Venice's Ca' Foscari University, acting as conservation expert of the Italian Environment Ministry. The authors presented their detailed findings and proposals in view of the designation of the Venice Lagoon for the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance. Dr Giorgio Andrian, of UNESCO's Regional Bureau for Science in Europe (ROSTE) in Venice, reminded the people present about the listing of "Venice and its Lagoon" under the World Heritage Convention, and the opportunity that the future Ramsar Site could also become the core zone of a future Biosphere Reserve was evoked. Professor Rallo is confident that the administrative work to designate the Venice Lagoon for the Ramsar List can now be concluded within a few months and reported on ongoing work by the Service for Nature Conservation of the Environment Ministry to prepare for the designation of a substantive number of additional Ramsar Sites in the Italian regions of Veneto (covering also inland wetlands), Sicily and Tuscany.

-- reported by Tobias Salathé, Ramsar
Photos by Tobias and Giuseppe Cherubini

Cultural values of the Lagoon: illustrated by a brother of San Francesco del Deserto monastery, situated on a small island in the Lagoon, with Burano island in the background (famous for its laces)

María José Viñals, Delia Murer, Giuseppe Cherubini

Giampaollo Rallo, Mike Smart (left and right of center)

Burano island and village seen from the south (Venice Lagoon is one of the very few places in the Mediterranean with marked tides)

Shrimps, fish, clams, cuttlefish are but a few of the Lagoon's varied and rich products, supporting a healthy local economy that directly depends on the Lagoon's water quality.

Tobias Salathé and Mike Smart

The classic view: The Canal Grande and the Rialto with the evening sun on the church of San Giovanni Crisostomo

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