THALASSA: Men and the Sea (Sustainable fishing practices in Sicily and Tuna fishing)

In Greek mythology, Thalassa is a primordial sea goddess, and in Greek thalassa means ‘sea’.


I found a link to a very interesting documentary set in Syracuse in an online publication called Times of Sicily.

The documentary is called Thalassa: Men of the sea.

The fishermen and fishmongers in the documentary speak mainly in Sicilian ( complete with hand movements and wonderful to see and hear), the marine historians speak in Italian, but there are also English subtitles. Right at the very end there is a message from Oliver Knowles, Greenpeace – this is in English. The documentary strongly supports sustainable fishing practices, the use of marine reserves and expresses concern for the plight of the tuna in the Mediterranean. Although it is fairly long, it is worth watching.

THALASSA – Men and the Sea

Small fishing boats in Syracuse. This photo was taken in 2007 and I wonder if these fishermen are still making a living.


From Times of Sicily:

THALASSA — “Uomini e Mare” Men and the Sea (directed & produced by Gianluca Agati, ITA, 26′, 2012) is a documentary offering a glimpse into Siracusa’s history, where the fumes from chemical and petrochemical industries and the relics of ancient tuna fisheries form the background to the stories of fishermen, fishmongers and marine historians.

The work shines a light on the profound economic, social and environmental transformation which Siracusa has experienced since the 1950s, and promotes a return to the consumption of less exploited marine species, which although out of favour with modern consumers, are cheap, nutritious and were a common sight on the tables of older generations.
The project has reinforced its environmental and social message by rejecting all forms of merchandising, making the film available free and accessible to everybody via the website (in Italian) :

This documentary has been dedicated to Fernando Pereira (1950 – 1985), Greenpeace activist and photographer drowned after sinking of the Rainbow Warrior.