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Emanuele Squarci | profile | all galleries >> Galleries >> Favignana Isle: the "Mattanza" tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

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Favignana Isle: the "Mattanza"

The term "mattanza" (the slaughter) come from the Spanish word "matar", meaning to kill and refers to a hundred years old tuna-fishing tecnique. Tuna are guided into the "tonnara" which is a complex trap system of successive nets which are gradually restricted in size and raised toward the surface. Tha last is called "camera della morte" (the chamber of death). Here, when the "rais" (the head fisherman of mattanza) gives order and the "tonnarotti" haul the net, fishes come to the water surface and are hauled aboard boats with steel hooks. As time passes, the tunas are diminishing in size and number and this tradition is dying.
I took these photos on June 1980 on Ektachrome film.
Here the story:
starting early in the morning to destination the end of the net the rais is examining
the espectation the noose is tightening hauling the net the net floor is raising
tunas are within to the water's surface they cant  escape there isn't enough water for fins to lift this giant  isn't easy
it may weigh till 800 kg. another giant people are struck dumb the calm after the storm