Marouane Mahroug: Discovering The Islet "Dzira"
"Expîlots" is a number of maritime excursions to four islets around the island of Djerba. They are organized by Djerba Insolite Association in partnership with AJEM and Club Tipaza. On 27th March 2016, our first excursion took us to "Dzira" which is an islet 230 meter away from Borj Jilij. Under the umbrella of environmental and cultural aims, the participants enjoyed discovering the practice of traditional fishing in Borj Jilij knowing as "Zrayeb". Then, in "Dzira" they initiated our cleaning up campaign that attempts to save our marine environment.
Particularly, this first trip was highly rich in terms of discovery thanks to the interventions presented by Nabil Ben Hamida (a marine biologist), Hasna Ben Hadada (Conservator at the National Institute of Heritage), and Marwen Ben Ibrahim (Conservator of Heritage). According to Mr. Ben Hamida, "Dzira" is a distinguished islet, and around it special species of fish live and scarce herbs/weeds grow. The marine biologist explained that some herbs are vital in order to carry small nutritious fungus for fish. Not only that, but also they are considered as an essential element to preserve the purity of seawater. However, both these fish and herbs are threatened by the plastic bottles thrown everywhere around this islet and menaced by the random fishing exercised by big fishing boats. Some birds as well find this small island as a suitable place for breeding, several nests were found in this islet where these birds use to lay their eggs. Saving both animals and plants around and within "Dzira" would ensure the ecological equilibrium according to Mr. Ben Hamida.
Apart from this environmental discovery, Mrs. Ben Hadada and Mr. Ben Ibrahim gave a presentation about the archeological site explored in this islet. In regards of the latest excavations, Mrs. Ben Hadada said that this site dates back to the Roman era and the rocks used for building are the same ones inspected in an antiquarian hill in Ghizen (one of Djerba's villages). The conservators praised this initiative organized by the civil society practitioners, and at the same time they asked to cooperate with the National Institute of Heritage and all the intervenient authorities in order to protect this precious archeological site. Due to this richness, as stated by the conservators, "Dzira" should be a basic element that ornaments the cultural and ecological tourism in Djerba.