Fornells, the art of making nanses

Fishing with fishing traps is one of the most antiques fishing techniques that arrived to Menorca’s shore.

What is a nansa?

A nansa is a simple fishing trap made ​​from materials such as cane and reeds that was traditionally used by old fishermen from Fornells to capture the prized lobster and other varieties of fish and seafood.

How was the life of nansers?

Fornells has always been linked to fishing, and its fishermen dominated all kind of techniques. One of its main techniques was fishing with fishing traps, and the figure of the nanser, which was that fisherman who, when not at sea, elaborated fishing traps, starred the history of this coastal town.

The nansers have always lived facing the sea, weaving fishing nets and making fishing traps during the winter, waiting for the moment to throw the traps into the sea and take advantage of their hard work. It is important to notice that there was no market of fishing traps, so the fishermen should make their own artefacts. Normally, they did this work on the street, and used to make them following a technique passed down from generation to generation. The nansa lasted for three or four months within the sea.

How can you fish with nanses?

The old method consisted of placing nanses at secret spots (which fishermen considered a secret knew through family tradition) and went regularly to find the catch.

Is this fishing technique still used?

The art of making nanses is one of the most difficult to learn, and today very few people know it. Sadly, the secrets of this technique are being lost due to new devices. However, we can still find several nansa-makers in Fornells. To retrieve the ancient techniques is safeguarding the experience of old sailors.

Greetings from Fornells.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014


C. Vivers S/N
07748 Fornells
Tel. (+34) 971 37 65 12
Fax (+34) 971 37 64 53

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