Friday, 21 November 2014
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Tuna fisheries

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Favignana Tuna fishery. Under the pinnacles of tufa of Calarossa similar to castles peaks, we ate the first Punic War. But the island of Favignana has become important for another reason: the tuna fishing, already practiced by the Phoenicians but ritualized by the Arabs. A ceremonial made of propitiatory songs punctuated by the rhythmic timing of the voice of the Rais, the head of the tuna fishery. For its position, the island is lapped by ocean currents and this position creates an ideal condition for tuna breeding. Since ancient times, an ingenious system of nets led the flocks to the place where the killings had to take place. During the last century, thanks to, the Florio family, owners of the island and fishing rights from 1874, the system of storage in oil production was introduced and created a massive complex that made the tuna industry unique in the world. The activity of the tuna fishery Florio ended in the 70's and the austere buildings of the factory close to the sea have become a true monument of industrial architecture that bears witness of the golden age of tuna fishing in this part of Sicily.
Scopello Tuna fishery. A strip of high and jagged ground overlooking the blue deep water located about an hour drive from Palermo. Here in coves there are lonely strip of sand and pebbles hidden and often accessible only by sea. In this natural paradise lies the seaside village of Scopello, small but rich in tradition. A place that has always well kept: a few houses, the beam, a church and the tuna fishery. The latter, one of the oldest in the island, now abandoned, is the testimony of a once-thriving business. It evokes the charm of an abandoned place, feeling also increased because of the silence that surrounds it; silence broken only by the sound of the waves. The buildings have a "death chamber" in which it was practiced a cruel massacre, the warehouse where tuna and anchors used for the nets were stowed are still visible.
Portopalo Capo Passero tuna fishery. Owned by the kinght Peter Bruno di Belmonte, the tuna Portopalo Capo Passero, extreme southeastern peak of Sicily at which the waters of the Ionian meet those of the Strait of Sicily, this tuna fishery was a thriving manufacturing plant in the twentieth century and now it is a beautiful monument of industrial architecture. The lodge and the factory for tuna processing, the great furnace, the stores, the church of the seventeenth century are visible. Here came the tuna that were slaughtered and processed, tuna fishing has accumulated over the centuries an important economic asset for the entire population of the place. When the tuna fishery was still working, already in early March began a maintenance work of great vessels of oak, nearly twenty feet long, which were kept in department stores during the winter and then pulled out for "impeciatura" of keels. The heavy nets were checked and repaired. The large anchors, placed conveniently on the bottom, formed a sort of passage required to conduct the tuna in the "death chamber" under the orders of the head rais. At the end of the slaughter fishermen returned to the shore to unload their catch: tuna, transported by trucks, were conducted in a large room to be gutted and cleaned. Then they were transported in the furnaces to boil, and finally conserved with olive oil.

saline Trapani


saline Trapani


saline Trapani


saline Trapani


saline Trapani


Motia


saline Trapani


saline Trapani


Satiro danzante