Our photo essay looks at the one of the longest running traditions in the Adriatic: catching sardenes and anchovies. It has become more modern and efficient with time.... mythical allure. Just seeing tons of wild fish getting dragged out of the open sea says a lot.

Motor boats were first used for fishing in Adriatic by innovative fisherman in Vela Luka, Sali and Crikvenica around 1908 – the first in the Mediterranean, and far ahead of many fishing countries in the world. Since then the technology has developed but the method is the same. We went on one fishing trip with a fishing boat from Korčula to explore what it is like.

The method is based on a simple concept that small fish are attracted to light. Boat goes out to the open sea and as the night falls, it leats it’s strong sie lights and keeps them on for 6-7 hours, attracging small fish. At the end of the night, light is left on only on a small boat while the large vessel moves in darkness and circulates the light source with a net. The boat we were on had one of the largest nets in the whole of Adriatic: 600m long, 200m deep and weighting 5.5tons. 

n a trip like this the captain is the one solely responsibl for the catch. No fish - no pay. He has to make a call if the conditions are right for fishing that night. Gadgetry helps to some extent, but it’s about experience and gut feeling. If the captain goes fore it, they put the lights on and wait, otherwise they go back to the prot and return anoteher time. There is a nerve cutting vibe from the moment we set out until the fish sits in the large containers on the boat.

In this photo essay we look at what the journey is like: from cabin chat, captain’s worries, nocturnal atmosphere to an epic moment of pulling the nets as the sun rises in the middle of the open sea.