The frame is that of the Gulf of Catania: an arc that goes from Capo Mulini to Capo Santa Croce, in the municipality of Augusta. A portion of sea protected in part by the Natural Marine Reserve of the Ciclopi Islands and ploughed every day by the small boats of the fishermen of the gulf.

Here, according to the season, are fished garfish, bass, tuna, mullet, mackerel, and masculini. The fishermen also call them anciuvazzu or anciuvurineddu: many names for the small, darting anchovies, the same ones caught by the Ligurians and the Cilento menaids. They are the same ones that, as master ‘Ntoni said in I Malavoglia, “feel the grecale twenty-four hours before they arrive, (…) it has always been like this, the anchovy is a fish that has more judgment than the tuna fish”.

In April, we begin to lower the “traits” (so they call in Catania the menaid nets, which have meshes of one centimeter side and are about 300 meters long): the right time is the late night, almost at dawn.

The technique is the same practiced throughout the Mediterranean since the time of Homer. This mechanism of capture (the imprisonment of the head of the anchovy in the meshes of the net, hence the name magghia) causes a natural bleeding that makes the fish tastier and therefore more valuable.

In Italy the flotillas practicing traditional fishing with the menaide are few: they are located in Pisciotta, in some small towns of the Cilento coast (in Campania) and in the Gulf of Catania. Here the families who live of this ancient craft are about thirty: a small group – which is divided between the harbors of San Giovanni li Cuti, Ognina, Aci Trezza – and some civitotu (this is the name of the inhabitants of the district of Catania Civita) at the port of Catania.

Contacts

Phone:+39 345 3881807 / +39 366 5616187 Gaetano Urzì Referente dei produttori del Presidio

Info

Golfo di Catania
(Ct)
Italia
magghia masculina

Magghia Masculina

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