Island of Hvar, Sućuraj - Fishing
The people of Sućuraj on the island of Hvar have always been known as skilled fishermen and the tradition lives on today. There is a fleet of a dozen trawlers, midsize fishing ships with deep sea drag nets. The net has a shape of a sack and is being dragged by the ship on the sea bottom by metal cable. The process of dragging the net takes a few hours and is called “kalada”. After that the net is lifted on the ship by a hydraulic system called “vinač”. The catch is shaken out to the stern of the ship sorted and stacked. This type of fishing is called trawling and takes place from dawn to sunset with the net being dragged a few times during one day. The crew consists of 2 or 3 fishermen. In the evening the catch is transported further by refrigerator cars, with a small portion being sold on the spot from ships or in the morning on the fishermen’s market. The fishermen from Sućuraj fish in the central and south Adriatic and their catch is sold in many Croatian towns and exported to neighboring countries.
Besides trawlers, fishermen use smaller boats to fish. They are called “kaići”. The tools used in these boats are:
- standing nets, gillnets – on top of these nets there are corks and on the bottom lead, which enables them to stand upright in the sea. The net is thrown from the boat, stands in the sea for some time and is lifted in with its catch. There are numerous kinds of these nets and those in often use in Sućuraj are called “popovice”, “prostice”, “girale” and “barakude”.
- longline called “parangal” – consists of a base string on which a shorter strings with hooks are attached in regular intervals. The bait known as “ješka” is placed on the hooks; the longline is thrown in the sea and after some time is pulled in the boat with the catch.
- spear and light – traditional name for this kind of fishing is “under the light” in Croatian “pod sviću”. On nights when there is no wind one can go fishing under the light. On the bow of the ship there is a strong light most often on gas. Usually two fishermen go on this kind of fishing, one to row slightly and the other to hold the spear and watch the sea bottom, ready to hit a fish or a cephalopod if he sees one.
- squid jig called “lignjar” – which is made of a long plastic string and often two squid jigs, onto which the squid is caught. The jig is thrown into the sea and the string is released long enough for the jigs to be just above the bottom of the sea. Every so often the string needs to be pulled a bit in order for the squid to think it is alive. When the squid is caught it must be carefully pulled up on the boat. This type of squid catching is most often in Sućuraj.
There are also many other kinds of fishing where boats are used. Almost every family in Sućuraj owns a small boat. They use them to fish either professionally, or as most, just for recreation and their own culinary needs.
In the former sardine factory (near local cemetery) which closed in 1971, there is now a factory that produces fish young. Here little fish are being “born” and after they have grown are relocated to fish farms across the Adriatic Sea.
The Sućuraj port is well protected from all winds and provides safe haven to all vessels that are docked inside. Within the port there is a slip for smaller boats called “navlačilo”. Here the local people pull their boats to dry land for repair and maintenance. There is also a slip near Česminica beach, at the lighthouse and in Valica bay,. Tourists can also use these slips if nescessary.
Fishes (and other animals) from the Adriatic Sea
More info about fishes (and other animals) from the Adriatic Sea on our page: climate, flora and fauna.