Until the early 20th century, fishing for bluefish in the Gulf of Trieste was carried out primarily with driftnets called sardellere, while along the nearby coast of Croatia fish were attracted by lights placed on a small boat in a confined area (peschiera) which was then surrounded by the nets of larger boats. An expensive method, but after the First World War Neapolitan fishermen who moved to Trieste began to use halogen lamps to attract the fish no longer towards the coast but seawards. The post-war exodus from Istria expanded the local fishing fleet and catches of bluefish grew to such an extent that new markets had to be sought and new methods of canning and conserving with lamps has been further developed, with technological innovations that led to protection and manoeuvrability of the lamps, the improvement of the light generators, the introduction of electronic instruments and new materials for making the nets.
Point of interest
The Saccaleve, local Triestine boats used for lampfishing, leave port at dusk accompanied by a small auxiliary boat, a caiccio. They have engines of between 80 and 250hp, and are never more than 16 metres in length. Boats as small as these can be used because of the limited area of the fishing grounds, the shallow depth of the water and the short duration of a fishing trip - rarely more than eight hours.