Tunas of Riviera dei Cedri

Italy. North of Calabria, my base of operation.
Almost all of my adventures start from here. The reason is that I continue to have the desire to explore this part of the Tyrrhenian Sea and also because it is here that I begin to design what I want to accomplish.

Gianni and I are old friends. Passion for the sea, our sea has united us for many years. When he invites me to a new adventure, I hardly fail to accept the invitation. I was born in the Mediterranean and it is inevitable that I feel it within me.

The most amazing thing about the sea, I will never tire of repeating it, is that when it seems to you that you have seen everything, the moment after it can surprise you with a new and unique show.
Gianni had told me about tuna… Especially in the months of May and June they gather off the Calabrian coast, on their journey to the north, and here, in the thousands, are caught by the tuna-fishing nets…
This is the modern tuna massacre. Once, the tuna was conveyed to the shore and closed into a mortal deadline ending in the traditional tuna killings, called “mattanza“: the water changed its color, from blue it became red like the blood of tuna!
Today, apparently less bloody, they are gathered in large floating cages, still alive, and transported off Malta to be sold to Japanese wholesalers.

This is not fishing and this is not industry. Wild exploitation of a resource, made only for unscrupulous profit, which has no respect for anything, can only be classified as destruction.
But I came to see the magnificent spectacle of these wonderful predators which, in immense schools, stand here for a few days.
When I was a child, their arrival indicated the end of the holidays. We watched in the distance the white foam of the school that went hunting and me and my cousins shouted on the beach with the childlike desire to dive us into the sea and reach them.

This is the time to realize that dream!

Tuna fishers have already gone. They have made their part of the plunderers of this wonderful Atlantic resource, which is now reduced to exhaustion.

Despite this you can still watch a unique show


We are about 15 miles from the coast, here the sea is deep hundreds of meters and the red prawns abound.
It is in the afternoon, the sun begins to fall on the horizon and the light runs out.
We notice the benches from afar: the foaming of the waters is the approaching signal. They reach us in a flash.
Now we are in the midst of them, I dive into the sea… tona are hundreds and hundreds, they hurtle together swimming at an incredible speed and without apparent effort. Their silvery colors reflect the surface light. The heart beats very hard, I can not believe my eyes. I wish I could share this with my friends of my past because I know they would feel the same feelings too.

I’m struggling between wonder and concentration while I’m taking my photos and I wouldn’t be forced to breathe, even this time.
Now the shcool of tuna disappears, swims fast northward. We can no longer trace it.
The sun is now at sunset and we have to go home. I’m happy, I don’t know how else to describe what I feel.

But this wonderful day reserves us yet another surprise: dolphins!

A small group of bottlenose dolphins swimming beside us, we stop to admire them. I take my camera in a hurry and I dive with them.
They stay away from me, playing among themselves, jumping, chasing, rotating, and spinning. They go to the bottom until they disappear and then go back quickly… 10, 20, 50m down and up like a fantastic rollercoaster on which i would gladly ride.

They have all my envy and admiration!

I snap a few photos or at least i try, the light is dim, the rays of the sun now cleave the water sideways

it’s something fairy-tale.

They go away fast, even them northward, dancing with my childhood memories which have the taste of salt water.

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