Kerkennah (Qerqenna)

Kerkennah Islands (Tunisian Arabic: قرقنة qarqna) are a group of islands lying off the east coast of Tunisia in the Gulf of Gabès. The Islands are low-lying, no more than 13 meters (43 feet) above sea level. The main islands are Chergui and Gharbi. The archipelago has an area of 160 square kilometers (62 sq mi) and a population of 15,501 (2014).

Kerkennah’s main town, Remla (on Chergui), has a population of 2,000. The population of the islands significantly decreased during the 1980s due to drought. The islands were unable to provide suitable irrigation systems and, with clean water rapidly running out, many islanders were forced to leave for mainland Tunisia, the nearest city being Sfax (MedCities’ member).

Tourism is limited in Kerkennah and it lacks grandiose sandy beaches. Many mainland Tunisians spend their holidays in Kerkennah, and many more affluent Tunisians often build private second homes on the island. Tourists also come from European countries.

The north includes a port known as Kraten; is a harbour town on the northern edge of the Kerkennah Islands of Tunisia. It is known for octopus fishing.

MedCities has worked with Kerkennah in the framework of the ENSERES (ENI CBC MED program) project. You can read some examples here and here of the work done on the topic of marine litter monitoring and prevention measures

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