When in Favignana they will return to fish for tuna
Interview with Filippo Amodeo, administrator of Nino Castiglione SRL
November 7th was a very important moment for Favignana and its people.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Forestry and Tourism has in fact accepted the Nino Castiglione SRL request, issuing a decree authorizing it to drop the tonnara on the island of Favignana next April.
Only those who know well the thousand-year tradition of tuna fishing on the island can understand the importance of this result, which the mayor Giuseppe Pagoto rightly defines as "historical".
Even Filippo Amodeo, administrator of Nino Castiglione SRL, to our question if you consider this event a victory for his company, he answers: "I would not speak of great victory for us, but of great victory for the territory, for Favignana."
An ancient tradition that of tuna fishing in Favignana. One can say that the island itself has started its history with the opening of Florio in 1874, which gave a living for entire families.
The last mattanza took place in 2007. It was also the last mattanza for the whole of Sicily.
Restart the bluefin tuna fishery is not just revive immutable rituals and centuries-old experience of Favignana people. In addition to the social value and cultural identity of the island there is the possibility of giving direct employment to many people, making the economy of Favignana more flourishing, which now depends almost exclusively on tourism.
Filippo Amodeo tells us how long and difficult the journey has been so far. Nino Castiglione SRL is specialized in the processing of yellow fin tuna, for which it is among the first producers for large-scale distribution, but now it can also deal with the bluefin tuna again.
"The excessive exploitation of the sea, the unscrupulous quota policy has led to an impoverishment of bluefin tuna in our seas. It was necessary a repopulation and protection work at European level, in order to return to thinking about fishing here. there are so many red tuna that are often mistakenly fished by boats looking for other fish. "
He also explains that Favignana still has to wait for the final step, the most important: what will be the tuna quota destined for its Tonnara?
It is the tuna quota that defines whether a project has real feasibility and sustainability or not.
Favignana was recognized in 2017 as a tonnara entitled by Icaat, the International Commission for the Conservation of Tuna.
In 2018 Nino Castiglione SRL obtained the right to fish around the island as an appropriate operator.
Now the quota is missing, which will be assigned by the European Community and divided by the Ministry for Italy. Currently in Italy there are 4 tuna in Sardinia and with that of Favignana their number would go up to 5. Filippo Amodeo says that for the Nino Castiglione would be enough 100 tons of catch possible to carry out the project.
"Our company would also guarantee an approach of great sustainability and respect for the environment and the sea" continues to explain. "There is already a European project in progress: the bluefin tuna route The project would involve countries and establishments that are attentive to the exploitation of bluefin tuna."
As for Favignana, Filippo Amodeo goes further.
"We would put the former factory Florio, which already hosts a popular museum, a kind of living-museum, where visitors could see the workers busy in organizing fishing bluefin tuna in all its phases. "
Of course, time is running out.
"To organize the tonnara in time for the next season we have to move soon, it takes at least 5 months to plan everything, to prepare the boats, we hope that the response from the Ministry will arrive as soon as possible."
We can only hope that everything is done in the best way, for Favignana and its people, and that a historical and fascinating tradition returns to live in our sea, as before.