The Mediterranean culture of fishing: Continuity and change in the world of Jewish fishermen, 1500–1929

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This essay discusses the maritime Jews and their changing role in the fishing occupation in the Mediterranean sea. The first part presents the trends in historiography regarding the Thessalonikian Jewish fishermen in Ottoman and Post Ottoman periods. The second section explores the maritime world of Jewish fishermen in Ottoman Thessaloniki between the sixteenth and the twentieth centuries. We will establish the cultural identity of the Jewish fishermen, which expressed itself in Thermaikos Bay. The third part depicts the reasons for the collapse of the Jewish sea tenure in Greek Thessaloniki, especially between the years 1922-1924, and continues to describe one of the responses; the settlement of several fishing families in Acre (in Mandatory Palestine). Their experience in the new environment was short (1925-1929) and we will investigate the linkage between their cultural marginality in the core society to the failure of forming a Jewish maritime community in Acre.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-304
Number of pages17
JournalInternational journal of maritime history
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 May 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the Israel Science Foundation under Grant number 220/18.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.


  • Cultural isolation
  • Jewish sea tenure
  • Mediterranean Jews
  • fishing culture
  • marine fisheries regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Transportation


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