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These included fenced and covered storerooms for the conservation of the nets, (SLIDES
                  9-12) boats and tools, (SLIDE 13) and areas for the preparation and conservation of tuna in
                  salt or oil (initially using wooden barrels and then tin). Buildings were also needed to house all

                  the workers who remained on site during the months of activity (April-June or July-September,
                  depending on the passage of tuna along the coast)  and to provide essential services to the tuna
                  fishing community (taverns, bread ovens, chapels) . The architecture of the different tonnare
                  also  varied  according  to  the  average  volume  of  production  recorded  over  the  years  and  was,
                  therefore, based on the importance of the site and on the strength of the site’s profits in relation
                  to its operational costs. Frequent abundant catches in a tonnara necessitated the expansion of
                  its structures which had to be defended not only during the active months but throughout the
                  year  since  the  tonnara  storehouses  contained  boats  and  tools  as  well  as  barrels  of  processed
                  tuna that were to be sold locally and abroad.

                        Generally speaking, the 16  and 17  centuries represented the golden age of tuna fishing
                  in  Sicily   and  consequently  the  heyday  of  tonnara  architecture  (SLIDES  14-20).  However,
                  even if there was a significant correspondence between the building of the towers and forts to
                  defend the island and the development of facilities for the fishing industry, this did not mean
                  that  an  increase  in  productivity  was  determined  by  copious  investments.  The  use  of  relevant
                  capital  made  it  possible  for  ever  greater  numbers  of  owners  and  tradesmen  to  “lower”
                  increasingly elaborate tuna nets and traps. But the reasons for the success of any fishing season

                  are complex and primarily linked to the biological and reproductive cycles and the behaviour
                  and migrations of the Mediterranean tuna.
                        At any rate, it should be pointed out that during these centuries this type of fishing was of
                  particular interest to bankers, entrepreneurs, aristocrats and merchants because of its potential
                  for generating  great  profits, despite the associated high risks. It is  not a coincidence that the
                  high  costs  of  this  type  of  fishing  led  to  the  creation  of  innovative  companies  of  shareholders
                  (caratari) that contributed capital in predetermined fixed shares (carati) .
                        Referring  to  the  archival  material,  including  the  most  reliable  authors  and  the  rich

                  historical cartography available regarding the tonnara sites built in Sicily from the Middle Ages
                  until the end of the 19  century, one finds no less than 85 place-names corresponding to both
                  large  and  small  fishing  complexes.  For  some,  only  the  name  remains,  making  them  almost
                  impossible  to  locate,  while  for  others,  it  is  possible  to  trace  the  decline  in  production  and

                  8  R. Sarà, Dal mito all’aliscafo. Storie di tonni e di tonnare, Palermo, 1998; Idem, “Splendore
                  decadenza  e  spegnimento  delle  tonnare  siciliane.  Una  breve  rivisitazione  millenaria”,  in  G.
                  Doneddu  –  A.  Fiori  (edited  by),  La  pesca  in  Italia  tra  età  moderna  e  contemporanea.
                  Produzione, mercato, consumo, EDES, Sassari, 2003, pp. 500-506.
                  9   R.  Lentini,  “Favignana  nell’800:  architetture  di  un’economia”,  in  Lo  Stabilimento  Florio  di
                  Favignana.  Storia,  iconografia,  architettura,  Soprintendenza  BB.CC.AA.,  Trapani,  2008,  pp.
                  10  O. Cancila, Storia dell’industria cit.; M. Gangemi, “La pesca del tonno e del pesce spada tra
                  Calabria e Sicilia in età moderna e contemporanea”, in G. Doneddu – M. Gangemi (edited by),
                  La pesca nel Mediterraneo occidentale (secc. XVI-XVIII), Puglia Grafica Sud, Bari, 2000, pp.
                  161-177; N. Calleri, Un’impresa mediterranea di pesca. I Pallavicini e le tonnare delle Egadi nei
                  secoli XVII-XIX, Unioncamere Liguria, Genova, 2006, pp. 71-78.
                  11  R. Lentini, “Economia e storia delle tonnare di Sicilia” cit..

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