JJ6_scoperte incantevoli_jesolo_cortellazzo_Bilance da pesca

by Giovanni Cagnassi

They are part of the local history and culture, in a place that is strongly linked to ancient fishing and maritime traditions. The fishing scales, called “bilancioni”, are located along the lower bath of the river Piave, sacred river of the country, and there are more than twenty of these scales. They are all privately owned, mainly in the gloneal area. Their history begins in the 1700s and they are passed from father to son. There is much curiosity from tourists that visit the area, and many ask themselves what role these structures had. 

They can be two-masted, and located on one side, or four-masted and located on both sides of the river bed. Once they were mechanically operated, today instead they are controlled by remote controls and electronic systems. However, the main objective is always the same: that represented by the world of fishery.

A noble art and one that at the same time is a time for celebrating for the onlookers who observe many different species going into the large nets: carps, mullets, but also sea basses and sea breams when the level of salt is particularly high. Sometimes enormous Wels catfish can be find as well as eels and other rare fish that arrive to this location with the currents. 

The real and proper scale is the net with the masts, whilst the barn that is traditionally in wood and giant reeds is the place where fishermen and friends meet, since decades. According to today’s laws on hydraulic security, all scales once the job is finished must be brought above the levee.

The competence is of the “Genio Civile” (Civil Engineering) that hands out the concessions for the spaces in the water. To own a ‘bilancione’ (fishing scale) it is necessary indeed to have a fishing licence. These have always charmed the local population, so much so that an urbanist from San Dona’ di Piave, Albino Zangrando, has compiled a degree thesis on this theme, talking about the history and innovations.

In time the scales have maintained their specificity intact. They were born as an instrument for fishermen and today they have become a meeting place, where one can taste the ancient times. A charming place that distinguishes this territory, representing at the same time a place of historic interest for tourists that is worth knowing more about. 

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Jesolo journal Aprile 2022

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