Sport Organiser

A Man's First Attempts

As Cafiero wrote, Ferraro used to assemble reports on his "first attempts" in each sport activity that was in some way related to the sea. His infinite love for the sea and for those activities in which he is centre stage certainly motivated him, but in order to achieve his targets he needed certain qualities and characteristics. And Ferraro had at least two gifts that were out of the ordinary. A particular sensitivity towards personality traits, which allowed him to understand and make himself understood and limitless energy, which he used to carry out enormous amounts of work at impressive speed. This does not only refer to work related to his profession with Cressi and Technisub but to all work required to take part in meetings, hold conferences, think of new activities, resolve problems and mediate between opposing demands.

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U.S.S. "Dario Gonzatti"

The "Unione Sportivi Subacquei Dario Gonzatti" is exclusively recognised as the first Italian diving association. Luigi Ferraro was one of its founding fathers and its President for many years. On May 15th 1948, Ferraro was on his way to work when he met two or three friends who were busy discussing, once again, the disputed question of establishing a diving association. A meeting was arranged that same evening at the Cressi offices. It was attended by Luigi Stuart Tovini, who was born in Florence but was a naturalised citizen of Genoa and who, the following year, won the Italian pre-championship of underwater fishing. Also attending were Gianni Fioroni, a famous optician who, in subsequent years, built the most beautiful private aquarium in the world in his lovely house standing sheer above the sea and Aldo Gasco, a dentist who discovered a wonderful coastal area in Sardinia, where he bought some land and built an unpretentious house. Many years later, that coast became the popular Costa Smeralda and Gasco had to refuse a blank cheque from Aga Khan, who needed that last portion of land to own the whole area, land that Gasco defined as the most beautiful spot of the Coast. Duilio Marcante, one of Egidio Cressi's first collaborators (who, among other things, was able to roll rifle springs in his hands), started working by the sea very early, rising from the ranks of lifeguard and trawler fisherman. But even then, he distinguished himself from his colleagues because he used to dive, as all professional fishermen never swam in the sea, even though he did not use a mask or fins, as they had not yet been invented.
The first sport diving association was founded by these men. In the space of a few months it reached 800 members scattered throughout Italy and abroad, from Switzerland and Argentina to Brazil and Libya. It was a very open-minded organization, which took on a significant social and sport-related commitment involving the spread of the new sport, the protection of the environment and of the fish, the organization of competitions, the development of fin-swimming etc. It drafted all regulations concerning underwater activities, which have been observed by all countries in the world for decades.
The person in charge in Milan was Gianni Roghi, a journalist and explorer of high and well-deserved fame who, the following year, became one of the promoters of the Goggler Club. The person responsible for Turin was Victor Aldo De Sanctis, an engineer from Pistoia and a pioneer of underwater photo and film and the person in charge of Florence was Alessandro "Bubi" Olschki, a high profile figure, as he was the two-time Italian underwater spear-fishing champion and the co-founder and first director of "Mondo Sommerso".
The U.S.S. assigned the task of spreading the word of its services to these people: by using the first pictures taken underwater, the first short films and conversations, round-tables and advice provided in all spheres and on all occasions. (2)

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F.I.P.S.A.S. (Italian Angling and Diving Activities Federation)

Ferraro contacted the Italian Angling Federation in 1948, in order to organise the emerging activities from a sports point of view, which at the time mainly involved underwater hunting. Carlo Manstretta, the current Federation's Secretary replied enthusiastically to Ferraro's requests, and in 1949 underwater activities became part of the FIPS (the Italian Angling Federation).
Ferraro, who gained experience as a director of CONI (Italian National Olympic Committee) in Tripoli, was certainly in favour of placing divers under the aegis of FIPS rather than creating a new federation from scratch. His proposal was accepted and divers were assigned FIPS member cards. Later, the FIPS added the letters -AS- to its acronym, which in Italian stands for Italian Angling and Diving Activities Federation, to ensure the independence of the sector from the large majority of angling sport activities. Gigi himself was appointed as the director in this sector. As a result, fin-swimming and underwater hunting internal and external organisations were set up, competitive facilities, programs for local, national and international competitions, congresses, conferences, competitive regulations, training schools and associations.
Ferraro found himself at the head of a self-governing association that attracted all divers. Inland and deep sea rod fishing and other emerging water activities were too different to be subject to the same rules: even though the only activity carried out by the divers, at the time, was the hunting of fish in their own environment (which was referred to as "fishing" as a tribute to the FIPS: at least in this respect!) However, Ferraro knew that underwater activities were likely to increase in number and variety.
He was director of the FIPSAS underwater sector for over twenty years during which the Federation became one of the most influential members of international underwater activities.
After over twenty years of activities and international successes, Ferraro realised that this commitment had become too taxing for him. He was appointed at a time when no one could match his experience in the sector, now many would be able to carry on the work he started. On March 25th 1973 in Rome, in the Federation Palace at the divers' meeting that Ferraro called after announcing his resignation, almost all fin-swimming and spear-fishing competitors were present. Ferraro gave personal and family related reasons for leaving and explained that other professional commitments prevented him from devoting the necessary time to the FIPS diving sector. The reaction of people taking part in the meeting was touching: no, someone like him could not leave. Ferraro was taken by surprise and thanked everyone. He admitted that a unanimous vote would have induced him to reconsider his decision. Castellazzi, the Lombardy region representative, took him aside and informed him, to his great embarrassment, that he had received instructions to vote in favour of his resignation.
Ferraro did not hide his disappointment. However, he seized the opportunity before him: now he was obliged to resign and Castellazzi's position worked to his favour, after all. Even though, he specified, that was a worrying alarm bell. His suspicion was right: his resignation triggered a series of consequences within the Federation: the divers' independence, which up to that moment was guaranteed by agreements in place and protected by Luigi, went down the drain. Duilio Marcante, who was asked to succeed him, refused in the name of solidarity with his friend Ferraro, so Castellazzi himself was elected.(2)

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Once again, Luigi Ferraro was involved in the origins of the CMAS - Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques. It was in 1952 when Carlo Manstretta, Secretary of the FIPS, supported the institution of the CIPS, which in French stands for Confédération Internationale de la Pèche Sportive and, in accordance with Ferraro, set up a scuba diving sector in which the following countries took part: Italy, of course, then France, Spain, Belgium, Greece, Switzerland and Yugoslavia. Gigi Ferraro is unanimously elected President of the Underwater Section. Even though underwater activities and underwater hunting, in particular, were only at their very beginning, the emerging sport already started to involve many other interests: photography and cinema most of all, biological research on site as, thanks to rebreathers, naturalists were finally able to operate outside laboratories. The same applied to engineers, architects, geologists and chemists, who work together with archaeologists as they research. Because of these reasons, Jacques-Yves Cousteau proposed to go even further than the “pèche sportive" and to set up the CMAS, which in French stands for Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques. This proved that many other activities worldwide evolved from spear-fishing. On September 28th 1958, the representatives of sport federations who were members of the CIPS met in Brussels on the occasion of the Conference for the independence of the International Confederation of all underwater disciplines. In accordance with this purpose, the Constituent Assembly of the International Confederation of Underwater Activities, CMAS in brief, met from January 9th to January 11th 1959 in the Principality of Monaco, where Cousteau was the director of the Oceanographic Museum. This Confederation succeeded the "Underwater Sports Committee" of the CIPS and was given specific powers and functions. Cousteau was appointed President and nominated Luigi Ferraro Vice-President. There was a lot to do: firstly they had to draft from scratch all educational programs that would enable the teaching of  diving with compressed air across the world and, most of all, how to return to the surface  alive. They had to regulate spear- fishing, especially if it was carried out  with compressed air cylinders, as there were thousands of scuba divers (the common name currently used for divers and underwater hunters) and they could have caused serious damage to the environment or perpetrated veritable slaughter. Furthermore, it was necessary to ensure that the various countries had the means of defending and protecting their underwater archaeological resources as these could have been easily accessed by any amateur diver. They also had to collaborate closely with medical science so that it could resolve the many mysteries surrounding man's physiology underwater. Today, the CMAS includes federations and associations that operate in the field of diving and organise the relevant diving activities. It went through a difficult financial and organisational stage, which the Italian Achille Ferrero helped to overcome when he became President, by reorganising it in a modern and efficient way. It now comprises 116 members including national federations and affiliate organisations, which represent over 3 million divers. It is recognised by UNESCO, by CIO, by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and is a member of other important international organisations, such as AGFS and IWGA.

The founding members of CMAS:

Belgium :     Fédération Belge des Recherches et d'Activités Sous-Marines –
Delegates:  Paul BAILLY, William XHIGNESSE

  • Brasil:     Confederacao Brasileira de Desportos -     Delegate: Vittorio DE BERREDO
  • France :     Fédération Française d'Etudes et de Sports Sous-Marins –
    Delegates: Elie FERRAT, Jacques DUMAS
  • Germany:     Verband Deutscher Sporttaucher -         Delegate:  Jens-Peter PAULSEN
  • Greece :     Fédération Hellénique de la Pêche Sportive et des Activités Subaquatiques
    Delegate : Luigi FERRARO
  • Itaya:     Federazione Italiana della Pesca Sportiva –
    Delegates: Carlo MANSTRETTA, Luigi FERRARO
  • Malta:     Malta Sub Aqua Club -             Delegate: Eric PACE BONELLO
  • Monaco:     Club de Chasse et d'Exploration Sous-Marines –
    Delegates: Camille ONDA (Yacht Club), J.Y. COUSTEAU
  • The Netherlands:     Onderwater Jagers Club –
  • Portugal :     Centro Portugues de Actividades Submarinas –
    Delegates: Mr. Jorge ALBUQUERQUE, Antonio RAMADA CURTO
  • United Kingdom:     British Sub Aqua Club -         Delegate: Oscar GUGEN
  • Spain:     Federacion Espanola de Pesca Sportiva –
  • Switzerland:     Fédération Suisse des Centres de Sports Sous-Marins –
    Delegates: Charles KNIGGE, Robert METRAUX
  • U.S.A:     National Competitive Skindivers Committee –
    Delegates: Serge A. BIRN, Gustav DALLA VALLE
  • Yugoslavia:     Savez Pormorskin Ribolovaga -         Delegate: J. MEDUR



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Achille Ferrero, President of CMAS, with  Luigi Ferraro
Achille Ferrero, President of CMAS, with Luigi Ferraro

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In 1951, when the only fins available were those with straps that hurt your heels terribly, Ferraro organised the first fin-swimming competition in the sea. This involved crossing the coast off Genoa from the Lido to Nervi in four legs, with the last leg taking place at night. Each participant had a waterproof electric torch attached to their rubber cap and the finishing line was a sea cliff that was entirely lit by fire fighters' floodlights.
A few years later, in 1955, he organised an event in collaboration with Ancona's International Fishing Fair. This was called "100 Km along the Adriatic Sea". It was similar to the Giro d'Italia, but instead of having the cyclists' bicycles we had the swimmers' fins. It was a relay race with different stages, which took place along the shore between Rimini and Ancona and lasted eight days. The average distance between each stage was 10 Kilometres. The last stage, which was only one Kilometre long, involved all athletes competing at once and took place during the night in the water mirror facing the Fair, lit up like daylight by reflectors.
The same competition took place on 6 different occasions. However, the "100 Km along the Adriatic Sea" gradually acquired more popularity with the media who were attracted by the great ensemble of boats and ships that followed the swimmers in the sea and by the crowd that was crammed on the departing and arrival piers and along the beaches.
By the time that the“100 Km" competition was abandoned due to organisational issues, Fin-swimming gained enough popularity and the maturity required to be considered a sports' speciality in every respect, as Ferraro predicted.
In the meanwhile, the first Italian Championship was organised in 1957 and, in 1960 the first World Championship took place in Palermo, in the sea. Nowadays, Fin-swimming is recognised as a sport by the CIO.
In 1971, there was a veritable revolution in Fin-swimming, brought about by the introduction of a new swimming device: the monofin. This is a single fin made of various materials, which enables improved performance compared to the traditional bi-fins. After only a few years since its existence, in 1979 all world records were broken with the use of the monofin.
However, this caused a socio-economic issue: in order to enter a competition a fin-swimmer had to use the monofin, which, despite its benefits, was particularly expensive and was not accessible to everyone. As a result, many skilled athletes did not take part in the races as they did not have the appropriate equipment. From 2006 the CMAS, on the initiative of Achille Ferrero, added a "bi-fins" category to the competitive disciplines of Fin-swimming, so that less wealthy swimmers could compete using more economical equipment. This was named the “Luigi Ferraro Cup", in honour of the man who devoted himself to the affirmation of the fin and to its development.


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The arrival of a leg of  the 100 Km
The arrival of a leg of the 100 Km
Ferraro, Director of the 100 Km, during a downpour
Ferraro, Director of the 100 Km, during a downpour

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Underwater Orienteering

Even before organising Fin-swimming competitions, Ferraro invented another speciality, known as Underwater Orienteering, in which the athlete, in addition to swimming, needed to be able to use a compass. In 1949, the first competition of this kind took place in Genoa: this involved departing from land, wearing a rebreather 7 meters below the water level, following an itinerary that consisted of three different directions and then returning to the starting point. The experience Ferraro gained as a member of the X Mas Group, during his swimming lessons and underwater orienteering, obviously played a significant role.
The modern Underwater Orienteering discipline, in fact, took its roots from this. This comprises a navigation technique that enables divers to go through an underwater course following a pre-marked route using a map, a compass and a high precision counter meter to measure the distance covered.
Under Ferraro's influence, the sport evolved and in 1960, the first two Underwater Orienteering competitions took place. The first one happened in Italy and involved a two-way underwater crossing of Lake Maggiore (Angera-Arona-Angera) and the second one in Austria, in Worthersee.
In 1967, in Angera, the first European Championships took place, which saw 10 nation teams participating. Italy obtained excellent rankings, thanks to the significant contribution of athletes from the Società Sub Bologna, which was coached and directed by Franco Pavone, who himself used to be an X Mas member.
The first World Championship was held in Yugoslavia in 1973 and drew 150 athletes from 15 different countries.

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Breath-holding and Freediving Records

In 1952, the first breath holding competition in history took place. The contest is known as static breath holding as it takes place in a type of large aquarium. This is a pool with a glass front and the other sides made of sheet steel, measuring 2.50x2.50x3.00 metres, specifically built for the occasion on the Acquasola esplanade in Genoa.
The "National Competition of Underwater Resistance" (this is the official definition), was held on June 12th. Three teams took part: from the National Diving Course, the Fire-Fighting Unit of Directorate General in Rome, the Divers Sport Association and the Italian Sports Centre, which was also based in Genoa. The "fire fighters" team (which had 6 contenders) had the better of it, proving the efficacy of Professor Ferraro's training method. A fire fighter, Antonio Esposito, consistently prevailed over the other twelve players but did particularly well in the individual classification, where he voluntarily held his breath for a good 3 minutes and 15 seconds. Egidio Cressi managed 3 minutes exactly and came second. Together with him, the other "ussini" came second with their teams.
After a period of stand-still, breath-holding competitions returned to centre stage and gained a certain success. The activity was divided into static and dynamic breath-holding and can be performed in the swimming pool or at open sea.
For many years, Ferraro stood alongside Enzo Maiorca in many of his records. In his book “A capofitto nel turchino” Maiorca entitled one of his chapters "I'll phone Ferraro today", which is indicative of the relationship that existed between the two men. Ferraro is the person behind the records achieved by the Treleani sisters and he is also lavish with his advice to Stefano Makula, a Roman of Hungarian origins.
However, the world of records above all owes its existence to Ferraro. In fact, there was a time when, in the bosom of the CMAS, some people used to deny the utility of records and propose their abolition. It was Ferraro who stopped this by using all his prestige and authority in order to invalidate their theory. This is what he wrote to a Bureau Exécutif at the beginning of the 70s.

"It is a mistake to believe that these records exist for their own sake and that they do not have any use. The underwater world is still to be discovered. Anything that is done to improve our knowledge of it speeds up its conquest. It has been proven that the continental shelf is the only opportunity that humans have left to expand and represents the only solution to future problems relating to hunger and thirst that derive from the increase of world population.
In addition to this paramount contribution there are others that are equally important. Let us remember that only a few years ago medical science believed that man could not go deeper than 30 metres underwater!
Many other claims followed this one, always put forward by influential scientists, who raised the depth limit to 50 m. It therefore has to be recognised that this sport makes science aware that there are many other concepts to attain.
The operations carried out, which raised the record to 80 metres depth, prove that there is still much to be studied and show that man's courage exceeded the limits of science in the interest of present and future generations.
In addition to the above, it is clear that records as they have been performed so far, by a man only equipped with his physical resources, without the support of breathing equipment, contributed enormously to minimise and rationalize the enigmatic and intimidating mystery associated with depth.
Being able to conquer "through breath-holding" 80 of those 200 metres constituting the depth of the continental shelf exploitable by man, represents an encouragement, a simplification, a reduction of significance and brings man a step closer to its complete conquest.
It could be said that no other sporting activity or record gives such a useful and practical contribution as breath-holding does.
Maybe aero-spatial quests and the life of astronauts are put more at risk because of pride and national supremacy purposes rather than of their immediate and practical use.
Mayol's and Maiorca's exploits can be compared to those of Lindbergh in the aeronautical field or to the achievements of the very first navigators, who pushed themselves beyond limits that were unknown at the time. Their efforts contributed to the progress and results achieved today in the aeronautical and shipping fields.
This issue has been discussed other times in the bosom of the C.M.A.S, but only personal opinions were put forward and this aspect was never sufficiently taken into consideration. The representatives of the Medical Commission expressed a warning against the practice, which was simply based on safety arguments and cautious fears without referring to any real cases.
- Keep in mind that certain federations recognize records in compliance with regulations once drafted by the C.M.A.S.
- Consequently, these Federations will perform this activity without any form of international control.
- It would be wiser, more civil, more accommodating and responsible to recognise this activity by imposing regulations, enforcing specific conditions and effective monitoring, which would require thorough support. This is preferable to encouraging the disinterest that gives free reign to arbitrary performances, which are not adequately supported, with results that cannot be monitored, allowing anyone to make their own private attempts.
This should be the duty of a competent international sports organisation, without moving away from the issue at hand.
- It has to be pointed out that there has been no lethal accident that would justify the refusal.
-In underwater fishing, however, in the employment of techniques related to the use of rebreathers, there have been several deaths and no one has ever thought of denying this activity.
- It is absurd that the Confederation responsible for an activity denies a speciality related to the same sport, without giving a plausible reason.
- Furthermore, records draw the attention of the public, the press and of technical experts. They bring more advertising to the sector than any other event and abandoning them is a particularly wrong decision.
- The idea of considering such contests as applied experiments does not make sense because no medical/scientific organisation would take on such administrative task and no sports organisation would be able to take responsibility for it, as it does not fall within its competence ! This theory is therefore inefficient and wrong.
- Finally, what the Bureau Executif ordered on 5/12/1970 has been drafted in a contradictory, confusing and illogical way. It emanates from an intimidated, fearful and confused state of mind in search of a compromise and does not resolve the problem.
- From all of the above it is clear that:
l°) There are no negative cases warning us against the recognition of records.
2°) Records have the useful purposes listed above.
3°) It is wiser, more appropriate and effective to provide the aegis by suitably and strictly regulating the methods of execution.
4°) To decide, in due course, to recognize and regulate the Records until they prove to be negative and then ban them in a reasoned and documented manner, not by assumption as it seems to be happening at the moment.

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Spearfishing Competitions

Prof. Azzali, in his introduction to the book “Libro bianco – Le Gare di Pesca in Apnea”: writes:
"Spearfishing is at the origin of all other underwater activities. Only those who have a short memory or who do not like to look into the past do not know that underwater fishing and the famous exploits carried out by divers from the Italian Navy during the second world war are at the source of
all underwater activities in Italy and in all Mediterranean countries. This sport has profoundly changed humans' traditional attitude towards the sea. Spearfishing, which is better defined as "breath hold fishing" started as a competitive activity in the FIPS thanks to some enthusiasts, among whom Prof. Luigi Ferraro played an essential role. Competitions used to provide, and still do, the suitable circumstances to experiment with new technologies, materials and safety measures."

And, once again, Ferraro was the inspirational driving force for underwater hunting by writing regulations and organising competitions. Defending Spearfishing and the relevant competitions was another battle in which Ferraro has always been involved, especially within the CMAS. In fact, it was this organisation that should have been responsible for protecting this activity rather than attempting to oppose to it or even abolish it, on several occasions. This is how Ferraro, in the 70s, backed his position.


–by Luigi Ferraro

"It has been some time now since we started hearing influential rumours and since proposals have been presented against spearfishing.
As this certainly does not represent the most damaging factor to our fish resources (industrial fishing, pollution, etc. surely come first), we must assume that our opponents are influenced by demagogic, idealistic and gaudy theories that are not realistic. Even though there are famous and prestigious personalities among them, it is important to remember that as they are human, they could be mistaken and that the final conclusion should be the result of indisputable reasoning, not of simple affirmations.
In opposition to the claims against fishing it must be considered that: no speargun catches fish that are further than 3/4 metres away, fish are agile, fast, timid, they can hide in vast expanses of seaweed and rocky areas and have longer breath hold duration than men. Divers know, visit and are able to access only a very small portion of their natural habitat. There are fish such as sea bream, saddled bream, mullet, etc. that the diver comes across, but of which he is only able to catch an insignificant quantity. In addition to these species there are many others such as sardines, anchovies, sole, etc. that he never comes across, he does not catch and he never looks for. Finally, only a small percentage of what he seeks and attempts to catch he ends up taking home! Of the hundreds of species that are caught (or destroyed) in thousands of tons with the use of other methods, the diver only makes a dent in 4 or 5 species, accounting only for some tens of kilos. So?
So the problem has now been brought back to its "real proportions", which are very different from those disseminated. Therefore, after clarifying and putting into perspective the above and before putting forward any drastic and inconclusive proposals of abolition, it is necessary to make some rational and logical suggestions.
We could start thinking about underwater nature parks, areas of rotation, forbidding catching certain species, imposing measurement limits, banning periods, limits on quantity etc. Along these lines and with these solutions in mind, we will be able to reach an agreement and offer our contribution towards the development of a new policy.
As director of C.M.A.S., I also answer for the organisation's responsibility for protecting spearfishing. It should be seen as an advantage that C.M.A.S as well as dealing with tasks relating to development, technology, advertising and international issues also gets involved in spearfishing. This guarantees that the organisation is lead by directors who have advanced and broad perspectives.
Now I would like to clarify a point about myself. One may think that I protect fishing for personal interest. I would like to point out that I was not drawn to the diving sector by the advantages it had to offer, but that I have always been involved in this sector from the very beginning of my working life.
I have always believed in conquering the sea-bed to benefit future generations and I have always considered underwater sports, in all its forms (spearfishing above all), as a very useful expedient to transform humanity from terrestrial to underwater beings. These are my thoughts on the importance of the Sea-Bed and what inspired my overall conduct and work.
There are many causes for the depletion of fish resources and they are difficult to eliminate. They would require a battle that would last longer than life. And this is why it is easy to subconsciously point at the easiest targets. There are not many underwater hunters and they do not have much support. Their actions can easily be described under a negative light to the public, a battle that has good chances of succeeding and that could give its promoters the illusion of being champions of humanity. However, in reality this would have a minimum impact.
It seems absurd that we are the ones to announce the real causes of depletion, which are not even pollution or illegal fishing. The actual reason is that the sea is the only area of our planet from which man has only taken, from the beginning of his existence up to today.
For hundreds of thousands of years, man has used all available means to deplete the sea (now pollution and bombing have aggravated the situation), without ever thinking about "repopulating" and "reproducing".
What would be left today if the same happened on earth? Would we have ever known of cattle, chickens, pigs, wheat, cabbage, potatoes and so on?
Despite what we reported above, we are not proposing the abolition or the limitation of fishing. We are suggesting positive and constructive solutions.
We propose to repopulate the sea. This could be achieved through reproduction in captivity, artificial fertilisation, reproduction due to the work of man on earth. The sea could be repopulated with frie that have already overcome the most critical and difficult stage of their lives, they could even be "immunised", in other words adapted, immune to the effects of the poisons they will necessarily encounter in the environment, and the effects of pollution will simultaneously be reduced.
Why not apply this to all countries, in collaboration with public and international authorities in order to balance out the overall catch with what has been reproduced. In this way we would be the ones responsible for carrying out a very worthy operation for the survival of humanity. All these proposals are viable and have purely social purposes, including the increase of employment rather than its reduction, as this would happen if restrictions were enforced, without having a negative effect on anyone."

But it was in Ferraro's nature to maintain balance and clarity. If on the one hand he opposed clichés against hunting, from as early as 1951 he did not forget to put in a word for the dreaded sharks. This is what he writes to deny false beliefs.

"Man believed that the world stopped at Gibraltar for many years and that earth did not move, so it is not unusual that something that is universally believed is subsequently replaced by a completely different reality. Firstly I would like to be clear on one point: my intention is to eradicate the common belief that sharks are immensely ferocious and courageous animals, which would attack anyone who falls within their reach without discrimination, including humans. I do not believe these assumptions and I intend to demonstrate that they are unfounded with facts. I would like to specify that I am referring to the few notorious anthropophagous species and not to the infinite kinds that feed mainly on fish. If someone asked me whether sharks eat humans or not, I would give them two answers: yes, if the man appears as bait or as prey, if he seems to be in a disadvantaged condition (a man who is swimming on the surface , who is escaping, who lacks energy or sense, a corpse). And no, if the man maintains his own initiative or, especially if he appears in his element. In this situation the shark is forced to consider its options, which he does with the inborn wariness of any animal and with the fear deriving from the unusual encounter. As you will read below, today there are tens of divers who could testify in defence of the poor animal that is accused!"

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Panathlon International is an association, which aims to affirm the sport ideal, its cultural and moral values as a means to train and improve humans and to promote solidarity between people and countries. The word "Panathlon" derives from Greek and can be translated with the expression "collection of sporting activities". Present in Italy and in the main Countries across the world, it was set up in Venice on June 12th 1951. After Venice and Brescia, a third Panathlon Club was established in Genoa on May 21st 1952.
As he agreed with the Association's philosophy and values, Ferraro was one of its 15 founders and he remained an active member as long as his health conditions allowed it.

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