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Guardia costiera interview

Diego Tomat, Commander of the Taranto Harbour Office

Safe navigation thanks to the Harbour Office

My name is Diego Tomat, I have been the Commander of the Taranto Harbour Office since September last year.

The function of the Harbour Office Coast Guard in the Port of Taranto relates to all aspects concerned with navigational safety, in particular, we are responsible for authorising the docking of ships at the port’s quays

and we authorise a whole series of activities that involve the complete commercial cycle of a ship, when it enters the port of Taranto.

At the Taranto Harbour Office, the VTS service is active, which stands for vessel traffic service, That is, a vessel traffic monitoring system that allows us to have a picture of the entire Gulf of Taranto and the surrounding areas, of all the ships – incoming, outgoing and transiting.

In particular, the monitoring systems also permit us to check the position of certain fishing vessels, which are equipped with special positional transmission equipment and so we have an updated situation in real time of what maritime traffic is in the Gulf of Taranto area.

Protection of fish stocks and the marine environment In addition to our port-related tasks, we also have institutional duties aimed at protecting fish stocks, in particular the control of regular fishing activity and the fight against illegal fishing or poaching.

As well as monitoring the environment, in fact according to national environmental legislation we are delegated to carry out inspections with regard to the environment and coastal protection.

Furthermore, the Gulf of Taranto is characterised by the presence of numerous cetaceans, which habitually frequent the Apulian coast.

In this regard, I would like to remind you that our “plastic free coastguard” app also allows you to take pictures

and send the position of any cetaceans or other protected marine species directly to the General Command and to all the associations dealing with the marine environment.

Still relating to the Coast Guard’s focus on protecting the marine environment, we also have annual campaigns, so-called ghost net campaigns, for which we carry out searches, also involving local diving centres or even the fishermen themselves to check for abandoned nets on the sea bed.

The charm of Taranto

I come from Trieste, which is a city of the sea on a par with Taranto.

I must say, however, that Taranto is truly a city with remarkable potential in terms of history, culture and archaeology.

Few cities can boast such a fascinating seafront, few cities can boast of a history like that of Taranto, which is full of archaeological sites and culture.


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