The round sardinella (Sardinella aurita) belongs to the Clupeidae family. It is somewhat similar to the common sardine but stockier and larger, reaching up to 30 centimeters in length. The fish is found in large shoals in the southern Mediterranean and fishermen catch it in abundance in the Strait of Sicily. It was once the main source of sustenance for Lampedusans during long sponge-fishing expeditions, consumed either fresh, salted or in oil. The search for the profitable sponges could take up to three months, with the small fleets pushing as far as the Tunisian and Libyan coasts.
The round sardinella is fished from May to November, but the salted fish preserved in oil are available year-round
The Presidium wants to promote the tradition of catching and preserving the round sardinella, an underrated and very healthy fish. The sardinellas are first salted for several months and then packed in oil.
Lampedusa island, Agrigento Province
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