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Eric Rinaldi, Monaco’s last fisherman, keeping his ancestors’ legacy alive

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Eric Rinaldi spoke about his passion to the BBC, which published an article about him on Thursday 8 December.

Dwarfed by some of the biggest yachts on the seas, Eric’s fishing vessel is something of an ‘odd-boat-out’ in the port of Monaco. Chrissie McClatchie wrote about the unique life of Eric Rinaldi in her article ‘The last fisherman of Monaco’.

Eric Rinaldi most often begins his working day in the dark of night, illuminated by the lights of Monaco. The journalist explains how tricky it is to board Rinaldi’s boat, as there is no boarding ladder, unlike the shiny yachts nearby.

And yet there was a time when fishing was a considerable source of income for Monegasques, who sold their catches directly on the quayside or at the Place d’Armes market. However, since the 1960s, the ‘pointus’, the traditional fishing boats, have gradually disappeared, giving way to those gleaming yachts.

The fishermen experienced the same decline, their descendants preferring less arduous professions. But generation after generation, the Rinaldi family has passed the tradition down ever since Eric’s great-grandfather Adolphe began fishing in Monegasque waters around 1900.

The fourth generation of fishermen

Eric is the fourth generation of the family to keep the family legacy going. A passion from a very early age as his mother testifies: “Even as a baby, he was already thinking about fishing, almost before he could talk.”

Eric Rinaldi learned everything he knows from his father, André (nickname Dédé), who taught him all the fishing techniques but also how to read the Mediterranean, where conditions can change within the space of half an hour.

SEE ALSO: PROFILE. Anthony Rinaldi, the family man

The journalist explains that Rinaldi’s biggest on-board luxury is an old Nespresso machine, ‘one of the few comforts among the jumble of nets, hooks, bright orange buoys and other tools of his trade’.

Eric Rinaldi continues to provide the inhabitants of the Principality with the freshest, most locally-sourced fish, caught on his new boat “Diego”, named after his son. He sells his catch to the Pêcherie U Luvassu at 8 quai de l’Hirondelle. Last June, Eric had the pleasure of catching a 180-kilo bluefin tuna, the biggest in Monaco.