Nestled in the heart of the Mediterranean, the Tunisian island of Kerkennah is a haven for its serene beauty and tranquil waters and its rich and unique fishing traditions. Among these, the artisanal method known as « Al Damassa » stands out, weaving a tale of harmony between nature and human ingenuity.
Damassa, an artisanal fishing technique exclusive to the village Attaya in Kerkennah, is not only a testament to the islanders’ deep understanding of the sea but also a reflection of their profound respect for the marine environment. This sustainable method of fishing relies on an intricate system of bamboo sticks that attach the nets and can only practiced in shallow waters. The technique is ingeniously designed to take advantage of the natural tidal movements, capturing the flying fish.
What makes Damassa particularly special is its minimal impact on the marine ecosystem. Unlike modern fishing techniques that often lead to overfishing and damage to marine habitats, Al Damassa ensures that only mature fish are caught, leaving the young to thrive and maintain the ecological balance. This practice showcases a deep-rooted understanding of the importance of preserving marine life for future generations.
We accompanied the Damassa fishermen on their fishing day. You can watch the full video reportage here:
This video was produced in collaboration with the Earth Journalism Network Mediterranean Media Initiative project.