La Nassa Pescaturismo
A boat trip that offers an experience that combines gastronomy and culture: La Nassa Pescaturismo offers unique excursions that are one of a kind. The magnificent scenery that is provided by the coastline is combined with an authentic fishing experience which starts with learning about the local industry’s traditions and finishes with enjoying some fresh fish that has just been caught.
We are going to have a chat with Fabio, the person who is in charge of the company’s management and its business relationships. How did La Nassa Pescaturismo start?
a Nassa was started in 2016 but due to the issue of waiting for permits, the boat trips only started in 2017.
Our main period of activity coincides with the summer season running from the 1st of May until the 31st October, obviously, weather and sea conditions permitting. La Nassa Pescaturismo was born out of a desire to combine the natural world with tradition and good food whilst paying attention to craftsmanship and sustainability at the same time. This is a boat trip that is also a lesson in professional fishing and is educational vis a vis the environment at the same time
I am guessing that you have good contacts with the main accommodation facilities nearby. How do you get your bookings and from what type of clients?
Yes, we do work both with the accommodation facilities and with travel agents who will let us know about people who might be interested in our services. But we also have a proportion of direct clients because one of our associates runs one of the bathing clubs so we manage to get a lot of customers directly from the beach. We also have a Facebook page which has given great results and on which we have obtained several requests for bookings. Our target is mainly geared towards families who contact us because they want to have this unique experience which will enable them to teach their children about fishing and get them used to eating fish.
Can you describe a typical excursion?
We do two trips per day: in the morning from 09.00 to 13.30 and then in the afternoon from 15.30 to about 19.30. The boat trip starts in the Port of Cefalù with a tour along the coast so that our visitors can admire some of the many interesting architectural gems such as the megalithic walls which were originally built to defend the villages, or the watch towers that were built during the Second World War and then carrying on to the inevitable stop at Club Med. After that, we drop the nets into the sea and then we set sail. Depending on the type of fish that we have managed to catch, we then head for one of the coves along the coast. Whilst the guests are swimming, snorkelling or sun-bathing, the guys who are crewing the boat get on with cooking the fish on board.
How many people can the boat accommodate and what kind of comforts do you have on board?
We generally work on the basis of a minimum of 6 people but the boat can actually accommodate up to 12 people with their luggage. In addition to the kitchen on board, the boat is equipped with all the basic comforts such as a toilet and a shower with fresh water as well as shaded areas. We do try to organise groups of more than one family in order to make the excursion more pleasant and more social. At the moment, one of the crew is an English girl so we are able to deal with any foreign visitors without any problems.
Talking of numbers, what percentage of your clients is Italian and what percentage is foreign? Does that make any difference to the way you organise the trip?
We don’t have any precise statistical data but we have done a rough calculation ourselves. In general, I would say that it is quite evenly balanced between the two. The foreign visitors are here mainly in July whereas the Italian customers are more prevalent in August. The biggest difference between the foreign clients and the Italians is that at the beginning, the foreigners are a bit sceptical, particularly because they don’t really know what to expect. However, once they realise that this really is a one-off experience and that we are meeting all their expectations, they relax and are absolutely delighted when they finish the trip, almost as much so as the Italians.
Craftsmanship and sustainability are two key concepts that stand out on your website. Can you explain to us in a bit more detail what you mean by these and how you put these concepts into action?
The issue of sustainability is closely linked to the choice of fishing tourism which is not just about a tourist opportunity: there is a greater financial return with this type of activity which combines tourist excursions and professional fishing. Moreover, with the latter, at the moment you need to catch a lot more fish in order to reach a level of earnings than can be achieved through fishing tourism, in addition to selling the fish and even the tickets. The craftsmanship is, however, linked to the name itself: “la nassa” (the creel or fish pot) is reminiscent of the tools from the fishermen’s history. In fact, even with the fishing gear we use, we have chosen to pay tribute to those traditions.
As regards education about the environment, which obviously goes hand in hand with sustainability, how do you get this message across to your guests?
Without doubt, we endeavour to make the visitors on board the boat understand that some types of fish are less desirable from a commercial point of view but at the same time, they may have a greater nutritional value in comparison with the better known types of fish. Another step in this project of environmental education regards certain new initiatives in the itineraries that are planned for 2018. One of these, which will be put into effect immediately, is “What’s Fish,” which aims to reduce the supply-chain for fish in order to provide the fishing companies with a more satisfactory economic return and also to please consumers who will have the certainty that they are buying really fresh fish.
The What’s Fish service operates with a group message that is set up on the business version of Whatsapp in which subscribers are informed about the fish of the day, the price of sale and the time at which they can collect it from the Port of Presidiana.
You can sign up to What’s Fish via a private message on the Facebook page with your number or with a message giving your full name to our number as follows: 3341999744.