December 4, 2019 - Once a small town of artisans and fishers, who spent their days with a song and a glass of wine, Tivat today writes a new history of its life by the sea. It is attracting expensive and modern boats, while small fishing and family boats are still rocking in the port of Kalimanj, hoping that there will be room for them. Among these boats, three belong to Filip. What do they have to say to us?
Filip Maslovaric would not be an unusual 20-year-old if he were not a registered commercial fisherman, a successful sports fisherman, a skilled craftsman, and a proud member of the Music Society of Tivat for ten years. While the people of Tivat are less and less living with the sea, and the skills of our old people mostly go with them, Filip manages to capture something new from that ancient knowledge every day, believing that he has chosen the right professional path. For him, it was not just a job but a lifestyle he felt like a boy and wished as his own.
Filip has been playing music and fishing since he was little. A student of Tivat Primary Music School, at the age of 11, he took up the trumpet and joined the city orchestra. Fishing equipment has been part of his daily life since he knew about himself. Filip spends a lot of time at sea, practicing traditional as well as modern fishing techniques. And he developed the skills of handicrafts out of need, taking care of his boat. Today he is often hired to help others, mending and remodeling both small and larger ships.
TMN: All this would not be unusual if we were talking about a young man from Tivat from a past time when our city was a completely different environment. How it came for you to choose your wet pants in the boat while your peers mostly drink coffee, hoping for managerial positions?
Filip Maslovaric: I started as a kid playing sports with the ball. I started with football, but soon realized it wasn't for me. But even before that, I was playing in Kalimanj, fishing for cuttlefish. I also tried basketball, but even that didn't appeal to me enough. More and more, I stayed by the sea and became more interested in fishing. In a couple of years, I managed to buy my first boat and set off for the open sea. Apart from playing, I started fishing early as a sports angler, a member of Fishing Club Pagar. I have a lot of national and international competitions behind me, so that played an essential role in getting me into this whole story.
TMN: It also seems very important that you are living in Kalimanj, that you have been surrounded by boats and fishers since you were a kid.
Filip Maslovaric: Of course, all these people whom I had the honor of hanging out with as a young child contributed to my active involvement in the fishing world. I met daily with fishers, those engaged, and those who used to do this before. Through the stories of their own experiences and the experiences of other people, I was able to capture the knowledge of some old fishing techniques. These techniques are now coming back a bit. Again, people enjoy sharp-edged fishing, live-barking for sea bass. I mostly heard about those old techniques from stories, trying, and getting into it over time.
TMN: Fishing from the game, then sport fishing. Today, at the age of only 20, you are a registered commercial fisherman.
Filip Maslovaric: True. In May this year, I took out a fishing license for coastal fishing. That license is valid for the tools that I chose to use. The biggest challenge is still illegal competition. Better control of offshore activity began but not enough, which is my conclusion as someone who is at sea every day. I believe this will be put in order. For the time being, the big problem is the lack of vessels and the personnel to control it. Still, the number of illegal fishers and using forbidden tools and not respecting the hunting area is an even bigger problem. Our awareness of the sea is the biggest problem, though.
TMN: Knowing all the challenges you will face, you still decided to turn your hobby into a business, you signed up for commercial fishing.
Filip Maslovaric: I wanted to deal with this business correctly. I registered to avoid paying penalties. Stricter controls have been announced, and I am at sea every day. And it probably would happen to me not once, but often to get caught in the wrong by the authorities. The process of obtaining a permit is no small business, but in the long run, you can only benefit from legal w. This kind of license does not mean people who do not spend as much time at sea as I do, but it does. I am pleased to say that I am one of the legal fishermen of Tivat and Boka.
TMN: In the process of accession to the European Union, Montenegro has also opened a chapter on fisheries, which strictly prescribes both catch quotas and the number of commercial fishing licenses that the state can issue to interested fishers. How many of those who live offshore choose a path like yours?
Filip Maslovaric: There indeed are many more that do not hold licenses at sea. But, even those who enter this business with uncertainty accept this role of fishers. It is a job that does not promise safe earnings. He lives and works from day to day, month to month, and every year has something of his own. Some fish appear, let them almost disappear, have them in minimal quantities. Therefore, no one can promise you a safe catch. And the tools cost a lot; the ships need to be registered. Ship maintenance and maintenance are costly. Therefore, many fishers are insecure. I believe that many people think deeply and with fear that it is a better path for them - to be legal or to continue the illegal route, waiting to be punished. But for all these reasons, it should not surprise us.
TMN: You are very thorough when it comes to your job. Although very young, you already have a small fleet of vessels adapted to the various fishing techniques you practice.
Filip Maslovaric: I have three vessels, each with its purpose. To fish in shallow waters, I have a boat that doesn't have a high draft so I can get as close as possible to the shore. The fish sometimes need to reach only 30-40 cm deep when riding under the axes. Therefore, not every vessel fits that purpose. I also have a cabin with a cabin, which can also go to the open sea, sleep as needed, getaway, and we can get away from the winter. I also have a third, slightly larger wooden vessel. If I develop the business as I imagined, it will serve as a vessel for something.
TMN: You also have experience in tourism, if we are talking about fishing. During the summer months, you sometimes take guests to fish.
Filip Maslovaric: Not so often, but I had the opportunity to host some people on my boat and take them to fish. There is not much of this interest. Usually older couples, or some older gentlemen who had the opportunity to go fishing in some other countries in a similar way, so they wanted to enjoy our gulf from the experiences of those experiences, and spend one morning or one evening at sea. I believe they enjoyed the barge with me. There's always music, a glass of wine for them, they're happy to get off the ship. It doesn't have to be too many fish, but also one fish they catch with the opportunity to be a part of our thick sea - I am sure that all these experiences remain in good memory. The very activity that I do leads me as an individual to such an attitude towards the people who come to us - to show them how we do it, to take them to some places, to bring them closer to our local, authentic way of life.
TMN: We won't ask you to give us your fishing positions, but in the end, we can ask - which fish works best this time of year? What tools do you currently use to get her head?
Filip Maslovaric: In this period, we are fishing less for longlines. We equip the boat for scavenging. The fish are coming to the shore, there may be a gilthead, a sea bass, maybe a tuft, even though it's too early for them. This year the sea is much warmer than usual in this stall. As you can see, the weather is such that it did not allow the sea temperature to drop. To cool the sea a little more, the fish comes to shore. And we're waiting for it with the lights on!
Source: Radio Tivat