LA LUNGA ROTTA (THE LONG JOURNEY) - Great pelagic fish of the Mediterranean Sea.

Bluefin tuna and swordfish are the protagonists of this documentary set in the Mediterranean Sea. Images never seen before tell the biological characteristics of these species since the moment of their birth to the moment of the capture by human. In recent years, overfishing caused a dramatic decrease of the Mediterranean populations. However, this trend can change today. Original testimonies explain the reasons of a necessary transition towards a sustainable fishing.

Bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) is a pelagic species as it lives in the open sea. Every year it makes an incredible migration across the Atlantic Ocean to reach the warm water of the Mediterranean Sea. It covers thousands of kilometres in order to find the perfect conditions for reproduction. Primitive human knew about this species and began to develop advanced techniques for its capture. Some of these ancient traditions have survived to the present day. An example is the tuna-trap, a complex system of nets that intercepts and captures schools of tuna. Clemente Ventrone, old tuna-trap fisherman of Favignana island, tells us about the long process and the emotions of those miraculous catches. Nowadays, tuna is fished with extremely efficient methods. Matteo Trono, expert fisherman specialized in the use of longlines, teaches us tricks and secrets of his profession. More than 70% of the bluefin tuna caught in the Mediterranean Sea is fished by the purse-seine method and transported alive into big tuna farms. Most of the fish is sold on the Japanese market. If on the one hand this technique has allowed to optimize the fishing process, on the other hand it led to an uncontrolled overfishing which caused a dramatic reduction of the species. Today, this scenario has changed thanks to greater control of fishing and a continuous monitoring of the bluefin tuna stock. However, swordfish (Xiphias gladius) shows an alarming situation. According to the first results of the scientific researches, a worrying level has been reached. Among the main causes there are non-selective fishing and the undersized fishing. In fact, the first results of an ongoing research show that juveniles of swordfish (that have not yet reached reproductive age) are still being fished. The documentary ends with a message of hope. Possible solutions are presented to reverse this trend, such as a more sustainable fishing which respects the minimum catch sizes and fishing limits.

  • Roberto Lo Monaco
  • Roberto Lo Monaco
  • Francesco Giordano
  • Research Group of Biology Reproduction and Development, DISVA, Polytechnic University of Marche
  • Oceanis srl
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    LA LUNGA ROTTA - I grandi pelagici del Mediterraneo.
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    nature, environment, sustainability, science
  • Runtime:
    21 minutes 58 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 29, 2020
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Croatia, Italy, Malta, Spain
  • Language:
    English, Italian
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Festival del Cinema Italiano
    San Vito Lo Capo
    September 29, 2020
    Award Winner
    Saint Petersburg
    Russian Federation
    April 22, 2022
    Award Winner
  • Picentia Short Film Festival
    August 17, 2020
    Award Winner
Director Biography - Roberto Lo Monaco

Born in Rome on January 2nd, 1991. Always passionate about Nature and sea. To follow his passion he enrolled in the course of biological sciences at the University of Roma Tre. He continued his studies with a master’s degree in marine biology at the Marche Polytechnic University. Parallel to his university career he is increasingly approaching the audiovisual arts and photography, deepening his knowledge in video editing programs, graphics and animations, photography, aerial and underwater shooting techniques. After a period spent abroad, he has made this passion his job by collaborating with university research groups for the creation of scientific documentaries for dissemination and promotional purposes.

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Director Statement

Nature and science show us incredible things and this is exactly what I would like to show in my documentaries. My goal is a scientific documentary that talks about Nature and science. For me, science communication means telling a story in which the main characters are the passion for scientific research, the enthusiasm for new discoveries and the beauty of Nature.