The History of Marineria of Porticello

The fraction of Porticello of the municipality of Santa Flavia, since time immemorial, owes its economy to fishing and its activities. From a simple sandstone sampling site necessary for the construction of old palaces, it has gradually transformed into a place of residence for a vital small but important fishing community, which, from time to time, have known how to be inventors of fishing systems and discoverers of more effective exploitation banks. The initial small community, which grew up around the fishing activity of the ancient tonnara of Solanto – one of the oldest fixed tuna fishery on the island -, has evolved over time, tackling, a bit ‘out of necessity and a bit’ for want of new entrepreneurial experiences, also the field of the first conservation and transformation of the fish.
It is from the beginning of the last century, a particular form of intelligent emigration that saw Porticellesi, small entrepreneurs of the transformation delocalizing their business in search of countries (Spain, Portugal, the Americas) with a less advanced economy and as such responding to the need for less cost of labor and product withdrawn.

Visione Storica del Porto di Porticello - Archivio Ciccio Zizzo

Historical Vision of Porticello Port – Archive Ciccio Zizzo

Unfortunately, over the years, the Fishing System, the lack of education in the sector, the lack of entrepreneurial skills has not been able to maintain intact both the potential and the income deriving from the fishing activity of the fishing community of Porticello.
The current crisis in the sector, the awareness of the need to give a purpose to cooperation, understood in the purest sense of systemic mutuality, the possibility of diversifying the fishing effort by integrating the income deriving from the levy with tourism activities at sea, obviously, they can be the prerogative especially of those communities that live those territories already known for their natural beauties and for their history often coinciding with monumental realities now heritage of all.

Visione Storica del Mercato Ittico di Porticello - Archivio Ciccio Zizzo

Historical Vision of the Fish Market of Porticello – Archive Ciccio Zizzo

Porticello can, if valued, bear the definition of a tourist crossroads capable of offering a route that starts from the “Formica” rock, embraces a time arc dating back to the Phoenicians to arrive at the eighteenth century Villas, both within the same municipality – S .Flavia- both in the territory of Bagheria.
The fishing fleet Porticellese is the largest of the maritime compartment of Palermo. In 2010 there were as many as 272 fishing vessels, around 37% of the fleet in Palermo. Now (data 2016) has about 215 boats – some have been sold outside the maritime compartment and / or region, and the last about 10, demolished or being demolished.
The technical characteristics, linked above all to the versatility in fishing license, make it a seafaring within which all fishing systems are practiced. Yes; from the removelica of 1 GT to the train of 168 GT, passing through an intermediate band of tsl 14,3 and a Pot.Mot. of HP 90.2. Like many Sicilian marinas, it has undergone the effects of the reduction of fishing effort imposed by the EU and practiced almost exclusively by the extent of the definitive Armagest. The fishing fleet Porticellese, which in the 80s, counted about 400 boats and was the most authorized to the system “drift net deriving – former Spadara” with 115 boats out of a total of 675 authorized, now has to deal with a crisis of the “fishing system” that is unprecedented and that has seen, in concert with the abolition of some trades and the demolition of the boats, also “the demolition of the fisherman subject”. All this has involved a very serious increase linked to unemployment deriving from the loss of work, which for obvious reasons, has also affected the fishing industry, directly dependent on it.

Storica di una barca di Porticello - Archivio Ciccio ZizzoStorica di una barca di Porticello - Archivio Ciccio Zizzo

Historic boat of Porticello – Archive Ciccio Zizzo

Considering the poor results of the Local Management Plans – linked to the Consortium of Management of the Artisan Fishing (Co.Ge.PA measure 3.1 of the former FEP), it should aim to the establishment of a Organization of Producers (OP) exclusively made by enterprises of fishing (both in an associated and single form), which aims to manage the main aspect of the marketing of the fish product and the consequent management of a beautiful piece of the local fish market (regional market), where to implement, both the sale wholesale that to the final consumer (direct sales from the producer to the consumer, with obvious advantages for both), as well as aspects related to the supply chain in its entirety; we think of a DOP and / or PGI brand and the processing / salting on all the others, returning to the fishermen, pieces of supply chain that they had wrongly abandoned to dedicate themselves only to the picking activity.

Veduta del Porto di Porticello - Archivio Ciccio Zizzo

View of the Port of Porticello – Archive Ciccio Zizzo

Marineria di Porticello (PA) – Source: Irepa/Mipaaf
 Average fleet characteristics
Fishing unit   ( n° ) 272
Length f.t.   ( mt )  10,27
Tonnage ( tsl ) 14,3
Motor power ( hp) 90,2
Year of construction 1976
Veduta del Porto di Porticello - Archivio Ciccio Zizzo

View of the Port of Porticello – Archive Ciccio Zizzo

Marineria di Porticello (PA) –
Source: Mediterranean Fisheries Observatory
Fleet Features
Fishing unit  ( n° ) 238
Tonnage                (GT) 2.764
Motor power ( KW) 16.615

Production District of Mazara del Vallo TP

We thank Ciccio Zizzo for the card and the images