Arba Commerce Doo

Family owned company working in fish trade

Annually the company purchases and processes 4 thousand tons of fresh small pelagic fish, mainly sardines and anchovies, purchased directly from fishing boats – purse seiners, equipped with the most modern equipment for the fishing, the treatment and the storing of fish, in all larger ports in the Croatian part of Adriatic: Rijeka, Pula, Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik.Salted pelagic fish was well known to the inhabitants of Pompeii and Herculaneum, the ancient Greeks and the Romans, Christopher Columbus, the famous gourmet Carl V and all the citizens and peasants that lived on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.There is no doubt that the fishing of sardines and anchovies mostly centred around Sardinia, Sicily, the south of France, the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea, but the best small pelagic fish were always found in the Adriatic Sea, primarily in the Istrian (Rovinj, Pula) and Central Dalmatian (Vis, Hvar, Brač) waters.However, the quantity of fish wasn’t always the same because it depended on the weather conditions during the year, the period of the year or of the day, as well as numerous known and unknown reasons; therefore, it was crucial to find a way to store the fish caught in the period when it was available for the period when food was lacking. Salting fish proved to be the best way to preserve the catch. The local custom in this area was to salt sardines “the feeder of the isle people, manna from heaven, the foundation of life”. It wasn’t only food for those who caught it or for the sailors at sea; rather, it was a widely traded merchandise.In 1420 the Dalmatian islands came under the Venetian rule and the Republic became a large and important market for salted fish, already produced with great experience on the island of Vis. According to a document dating from 1873, about 20.000 barrels, i.e. a million kilograms of salted fish, were produced on that island and exported to Greece and Italy at the time.Today’s markets have a greater preference for salted anchovies. Although some people will liken sardines to bacon and salted anchovies to smoked ham, both fishes are recommended to anyone pursuing a healthy and balanced diet – an issue of great concern to modern men.

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