Photographer's Note

The island of Favignana has become important for tuna fishing. This activity goes as far back as the Phoenicians but was ritualized by the Arabs to reach us in its present form - a ceremony made up of propitiatory chants and rhythms that follow the commands of the rais, the headman of the tuna fishery. Owing to its fortunate position, the island is lapped by currents that are ideal for the reproduction of the tuna fish. Since ancient times an ingenious system of nets has channelled the schools of tuna towards the stretch of sea where the mattanza, or slaughter, takes place. In 1874 the Florio family, who owned the island and the fishing rights, introduced a system for conserving tuna fish in oil and created a vast production process that made the Favignana tuna fishery the only one of its kind in the whole world. The Florio tuna fishery closed down in the 1970s, and the austere buildings of the factory by the sea have become a veritable monument of industrial archaeology testifying to the golden age of tuna fishing in this Sicilian strip of Africa.

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Additional Photos by Alessandro Tura (Fellini) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 498 W: 90 N: 974] (6407)
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