The Closing of the Rialto Fish Market? Sign the petition to Just Say No.

Relocation of the Tronchetto Wholesale Market to Fusina Announced

The Loss of the Pescheria Rialto Fish Market Appalls Fisherman, Locals, Travelers

Below you’ll find an article that Google and I translated from the original in La Nuova Venezia. I’ve added some comments for clarification, and although I’ve done some nosing around, I don’t feel like I have enough info to feel completely informed. I hate to jump to conclusions, but just in case it might help…please SIGN the PETITION to let the powers that be know that even though you may not live in the city, the Rialto Fish Market is important to you. (The petition is in Italian, but fairly straightforward — see additional instructions at the end of the article.)

The longer I live here, the more I am convinced that this fish is some of the sweetest and freshest to be found anywhere. Moving the wholesale market to Fusina would certainly increase the cost of fish (already high) and for fishermen make the logistics of transport to the central market at the Rialto impractical and cost prohibitive. Keep in mind that the fish you find at the Rialto (and at other markets in the city) are more often that not, still alive, because they’ve just been delivered fresh from the catch. How many other fish markets can make this claim?

If you have an opinion, please register it by signing the petition, at least. Tell all the cruise passengers you know, too — it’s the Port that’s organizing this move. What a shame.

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From the original article published in La Nuova Venezia (Alberto Vitucci), with additional comments and clarifications:

VENICE. The Rialto is at risk of losing one of its most famous symbols: the Pescheria, or fish market.

This could be the eventual outcome of the announced transfer of the wholesale market from Tronchetto to Fusina, the former Alumix areas. Located away from the “living” lagoon, it’s practically inaccessible to fishermen and traders in Venice.

[Note: Fusina is over 3.5 miles SW of Tronchetto, the current location of the Venice wholesale fish market, just beyond Piazzale Roma. The new location would be build on land, not located on the lagoon. It’s an industrial area inappropriate for fishing.]

And it’s more than a hypothesis, given that Port Authority’s drawings and plans for the new land structure are already being passed around among experts. The operators of the Fish Market, fifteen companies that supply fresh fish for retail throughout the city, are preparing for battle.

“We’ve requested an urgente meeting with the Mayor Giorgio Orsoni,” they say, “we’ll explain that the transfer of the wholesale market will decree the death of the Pescheria and the Rialto Market.”

The project is entering its operational phase. For some time the Port Authority, owner of the area where there wholesale market stands, has reclaimed possession. The parking area in front of the market is to become a roundabout at the exit from the Marittima cruise port. And the area now occupied by the fish market will be transformed into new facilities for large cruise ships, given the proximity of the docks.

It’s a project that risks being “devastating” for the city and in particular for the fish market at the Pescheria [which has existed at the Rialto — the center of all economic activity and commercial life of the Venetian Republic from its inception, before the year 1000.], say the fisherman.

For retailers to reach the city center from Fusina would be impossible and impractical. The reason is the distance of Fusina from the city, the lagoon, and the market itself. The lagoon fisherman [many from Burano, for example, at the opposite end of the lagoon, 10 miles or 16 km from the new wholesale market] will hardly be able get the fish across the lagoon to Fusina, then back to the Pescheria in the city’s center in time for retail sale — especially in inclement weather, in winter, in open boats, facing a bora or garbin wind. Today they go directly by boat from Tronchetto to Rialto. To transport fish from Fusina would demand both truck and boat — too much time and cost prohibitive.

The first consequence of the relocation would be the increase of fish from abroad and even frozen [abhored by locals, as it immediately reduces the quality for which Venice is famous] and reduction of the native species available from the lagoon.

Finally Fusina, located in an industrial zone, is not an ideal place for trade in fish, an activity that had taken place for centuries in the lagoon waters and Rialto.

Perhaps more convenient for Padova, the new location of the wholesale market would be prohibitive for the Venetian locals, and would represent yet another productive activity evicted from the lagoon through the work of a public institution (the Port).

In addition to the operators of Rialto, however, many citizens and even travelers who love Venice and its wonderful traditions. intend to give battle to avoid the death of a tradition and the closure of the Pescheria, says everyone.

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SIGN THE PETITION.

Go to this link. Enter your first name, last name, e-mail, and a password. You may also enter a comment in English.

You will receive a confirmation link at the e-mail you provided. Just click the link and your signature will be registered. (You’ll see a request for a donation — this has nothing to do with whether your signature will be added, though.)

 

4 Responses to The Closing of the Rialto Fish Market? Sign the petition to Just Say No.
  1. Leanda
    February 7, 2011 | 6:41 pm

    Thank you for this information, my Italian isn’t good enough to translate the article. The Pescheria should be saved, I will pass on the info re the petition.
    Grazie mille
    Leanda

  2. Sanya Polascuk
    February 8, 2011 | 7:04 pm

    The Pescharia and the life it generated and now supports around, is one of the jewels of Venice, as good a pull for tourists as Doge’s Palace, but in addition much more important and economically vibrant place for the residents of Venice then the Palace. If anybody is interested in stopping the exodus of residents from Venice, as any Italian authority should be, stopping closure of Pescheria would right at the top of their priority list!

  3. LIZZIE HAINES
    February 8, 2011 | 7:40 pm

    We come to Venice every year in winter, and have done for over ten years. The Rialto fish market is a huge part of the attraction for us: we love the sights and sounds, and we visit it every time; we love to eat the amazing seafood in Venice’s restaurants; and now that we take an apartment, we shop at the market ourselves every day we’re there. I can’t imagine Venice without its fish market.

  4. Steven
    February 8, 2011 | 11:25 pm

    The proposed change is a lose/lose proposition: a 1,000 year old market area is obliterated to enable more cruise ships to barge through the Giudecca Canal and threaten the city’s structures and the health of the lagoon.
    Shameful–and commonplace these days, in which we live beneath the tyranny of the marketplace.

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