InterviewsInterview with Jean Toussaint Lucchini, fisherman and boat owner at Solenzara
Interview with Jean Toussaint Lucchini, fisherman and boat owner at Solenzara
Pesca-tourism – an authentic activity waiting to be discovered.
Corsica reveals all its splendour to those who take the time to appreciate it. Through pesca-tourism, the fishermen that are moored along the quays offer visitors the chance to enjoy a wonderful adventure aboard an authentic fishing boat. They invite their passengers to share in all the passion of their profession, their knowledge of the marine environment and the culture related to this ancestral activity.
Much more than just a boat ride across the waves, these fishermen give visitors the opportunity to discover the wonders of the Isle of Beaty far away from the beaten tracks. They allow their guests to feel the excitement as the nets are hauled on board and to explore the treasures of the Mediterranean from a fresh perspective.
Pesca-tourism is a new type of touristic activity that allows fishermen to promote and preserve their local marine environment by welcoming passengers on board their vessels. This also allows them to diversify their main business activity and give members of the public a true insight into what their profession really entails.
Welcome Jean Toussaint Lucchini, you are a fisherman and boat owner at the port of Solenzara and you also offer pesca-tourism experiences. Could you tell us a little bit about this activity?
I have been a fisherman and boat owner for 27 years. I used to work aboard the “Corail”, which is a traditional small boat fishing vessel: I mainly fish using nets, long lines and seines. I offer my guests the chance to spend a morning discovering my way of life aboard my very own boat. When it comes to my profession, people only know what they see at the quayside, but they don’t get to see what the realities of this industry are. I also invite interested people to come aboard my vessel in order to reveal to them the knowledge that I acquired from my ancestors and to promote the small boat fishing industry in general.
Can you explain to us how a typical pesca-tourism excursion would work?
All the information regarding pesca-tourism can be found on the web site of the Corsican Regional Committee of Maritime Fisheries and Marine Fish Farming (CRPMEM): http://www.crpmem-‐corse.com but also at the various tourist offices. Anybody who wants to book simply has to call me!
I meet my passengers at the port and take them on board with me for a 3 to 6 hour trip at sea, depending on the type of fishing they want to experience. During this trip, they help me to bring in the nets, pots and long lines. In this way they get to encounter the various species that we catch. It is a convivial experience where I am able to share with them all my passion and my knowledge of the sea and the marine environment. It’s important to know that the guests do not actually fish themselves, they are there at my side in order to discover this way of life.
Once we are back at port I invite them to come along with me to where I sell my morning’s catch.
What else do you need to know before setting out on a pesca-tourism trip?
Pesca-tourism can be enjoyed at a great many Corsican ports. All the fishermen that offer this activity are listed on the Corsican CRPMEM web site. Pesca-tourism can only be carried out by professional fishermen who have been accredited by the Maritime Affairs Commission. The weather is also a determining factor when it comes to fishing. If the weather is bad the trip can be cancelled at the last moment. It costs €40 per person and I only take 2 people out at a time. Pesca-tourism is an authentic activity that can only be enjoyed in small groups.
When it comes to children, each boat owner reserves the right to decide if they can come aboard and to define the age limits in relation to the type of vessel they have. All terms and conditions, as well as things you should know before coming aboard, are detailed on the Corsican CRMPEM web site: http://www.crpmem-‐corse.com