Where food & wine meet culture and lifestyle


They weigh anchor at four o’clock from the Western Dock of Marina di Carrara, sailing towards the blue water. Then they stand off until the fishnet is full. An oilskin and a pair of fisherman boots: Radoslava Petrova (everyone calls her Rady), organizes the working day on Mariemi II, her cooperative’s fishing boat.­­­ She’s Bulgarian, still naturalized Italian. Together with a little “women only” crew, she founded Bio e Mare (, a multiethnic female cooperative. It’s the first and only pink flag out of 13.374 fishing boats led by men.


They are female old sea dogs, between 20 and 54, with both iron hand and velvet glove, who have (re)invented their lives by choosing the sea to paperwork or temporary work. They have a degree, A ‘levels or a family. Some of them are single, mothers and even grandmothers. They have invested in resources, dealt with challenges and won prejudices.

“It’s a hard job, without schedules and steady outlines” says Radi. “The sea is unpredictable. And compared to fishermen who just care about fishing, we care about everything: in our office and on our fishing boat. We remove the fish from the nets, clean the fishing nets, we fillet and cook. We have organized our production system as a short food supply chain, a closed-loop system. What we don’t sell becomes a gourmand product, in order to convert into revenue all which is usually considered as scrap. The left fish ends up with being put into glass jars, manufactured in our lab and transformed into delicious sauces and creams. And all is strictly biological”.

It was not easy to gain other people’s confidence. Very few thought we would make it and instead… Some of these women stand off on the fishing boat, some others are in the lab or help in the shop. They share tasks, but when it’s necessary they can be interchangeable. Seawomen, determined and feisty. “Backing down” is an unknown expression to them. It’s not by chance that they are thinking about opening a little restaurant.

Their products can be found at Cooperativa Bio&Mare: Viale XX Settembre, 199, Carrara (MS)

tel. 0585281009.

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