Artisanal fishing in Tunisia has long been classified as coastal fishing, all the while putting in place legal and financial instruments to limit its existence and facilitate its transformation into semi-industrial fishing. Outside, it is presented as a subsidence fishing practiced by traditional techniques respecting the natural environment and often having as raw material products of nature.
Employing more than 70% of the workforce in the fishing sector (42,000 artisanal fishermen), artisanal fishing has contributed over the years to more than 50% of the value of national production.
Artisanal fishing operates in the lagoons and the coastal strip using 11 thousand fishing units (92% of the national fishing fleet) and produces only 30 thousand tons (30% of national production).
Artisanal activity is confronted with the progressive reduction of its halieutic resources, because it is in competition with industrial fishing which intervenes on the same spaces, the same resources, for the same markets but under totally unequal conditions.