The lagoon fisheries are also of great importance, more especially those of Comacchio, the lagoon of Orbetello and the Mare Piccolo at Taranto &c The deep-sea fishing boats in 1902 numbered 1368, with a total tonnage of 16,149; 100 of these were coral-fishing boats and 111 sponge-fishing boats.
The Mare Grande is connected with the Mare Piccolo by a channel 875 yds.
In its present form the Mare Piccolo provides a well-sheltered anchorage, 36 ft.
This island separates the Gulf of Taranto from the deep inlet of the Mare Piccolo, and is sheltered by two other flat islands, San Pietro and San Paolo; the latter is occupied by a lighthouse.
The chief industry is the cultivation of oysters in four large beds in the Mare Piccolo; besides oysters, Taranto carries on a large trade in cozze, a species of large black mussel, which is packed in barrels with a special sauce.