Red Coral

By Leonardo Fusco & Steve McCulloch

Red Coral - Leonardo Fusco & Steve McCulloch

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For Captain Leonardo Fusco the discovery of the sea started at the age of nine. Years later while snorkeling off the coast of Palinuro, he discovered a branch of Corallium Rubrum (red coral) that for centuries has been widely traded and highly valued in the jewelry industry. As a result of this discovery, he started to search for coral and soon he became the first corallaro. He collected the precious red branches while breathing air from a scuba cylinder on his back, and after being licensed as an off- shore captain in 1950, he kept practicing this dangerous and mysterious profession for over thirty years. He then travelled to anywhere in the world that the presence of red coral was known or suspected: in Sardinia, then Costa Azzurra, Costa Brava, Morocco and for five long years in Tunisia, and finally in Japan. 

He then started researching and experimenting in order to improve both diving safety standards and the survival of the Corallium Rubrum species. 

In this second goal he was not successful. His projects were defeated by bureaucracy, corrupt politics, and the arrogance of investors, who were quick to seize Red Gold but were never concerned with planning for the future. 

And so Captain Fusco wrote this faithful account of his life which has led him to become an advocate for the protection of Red Coral around the Mediterranean.

The intention of the author in writing this book is to make the nations of the world aware of this sad reality and to promote a universal consensus for the protection of Red and Pink Coral (Corallium Rubrum) and for making trade of all coral illegal.