Sciacca has an important tradition of preserving fish products, particularly blue fish. There are 34 fish-conserving activities, including major industries and minor companies, which guarantee employment to hundreds of workers, especially women, involved in processing the fish, from the processes of detaching the anchovy and sardine heads (‘scapatura’), to cleaning, salting and conservation in metal containers (salted) or in glass jars (in oil).
Anchovy paste is also produced in Sciacca and exported abroad. Sixty per cent of the processed fish product is destined for the national market, the remaining 40 per cent for export. The main destinations are Japan, the United States, Canada and recently Australia. In the last decade, the major canning and preserving industries in Saccato have transferred part of their activities to foreign countries, primarily Tunisia and Croatia, where they can find much cheaper labour for processing and raw materials (sardines and anchovies).
Moreover, some fish processing industries, considering that the local catch or the one coming from the Adriatic Sea is no longer sufficient to cover the production needs, import semi-processed products (such as filleted anchovies) mainly from Tunisia. Concerning fish processors, part of them belong to two consortia.