Productive activities compatible with the preservation of environmental resources is a key subject of scientific debate and fundamental to the planning of development strategies and practices. Seaboards – areas of transition between land and sea – require particular attention thanks to their extreme vulnerability, the coexistence of different ecosystems, and the density of anthropic use. Human activities, historically developed near water in order to exploit the potential for nourishment, transport and escape routes, have generated settlements characterised by significant historical and cultural values and architectural quality. We need only think of historical centres in the Central European cities of the Hanseatic League; Italian seafaring republics; Arab contamination of Mediterranean port cities and small fishing villages embedded in heavily populated urban areas. Close to these vestiges of the past, which are a fundamental part of the local identity, are various traditional sea-based activities which require well thought out and detailed criteria for environmental and cultural protection and enhancement. Among these is the cycle of fishing activities in highly anthropised coastal areas of significant environmental and aesthetic value. Anthropic pressure; architectural and historic structures connected to maritime activities at risk; the use of coastal areas for tourism, and issues of accessibility and infrastructure with regard to artisanal and industrial fishing all point to the need for strategic planning. The issue is now of supranatural importance: the European Union has made it a priority in terms of research and local community empowerment United Nations agencies are undertaking major studies. Recently, the management of traditional small-scale fishing has become a subject of renewed interest, as, according FAO data, the sector employs 12 million people worldwide.