Fishing. – Sea fishing, which was already mentioned when talking about the coasts, is practiced largely by both natives and Europeans, especially by Italian fishermen. Out of 3626 ships with 9226 tons. tonnage, 725 ships of 4569 tons. they were Italian. With a few units the French, the Maltese and the Greeks compete. Fishing, which is practiced especially along the coasts and in the adjacent lagoons, produced a product of 6 million kg in 1931. of fish for a value of 20,650,000 francs, to which must be added the products of the tuna traps (943,000 kg. for 4,700,000 francs) and anchovy fishery products (525,000 kilograms for 740,000 francs). Fishing in the lakes, practiced exclusively by the natives, yielded 700,000 kg. of fish for over 5 million francs. In the hands of Italians for half of the ships used, but of a much greater tonnage, is the sponge fishing, which yielded a yield of over 10 and a half million francs. The coral fishing, to which Italian fishermen particularly applied themselves, had fallen, indeed it has now completely ceased.
Mines. – The mineral riches of the subsoil, completely ignored before the occupation, have now come to represent an important contribution to the country’s resources. Of all without comparison, the most important is that of phosphates, whose presence in the reliefs that rise near Gafsa was recognized only in 1885. Their regular exploitation did not begin until about fifteen years later and then continued to grow, reaching its maximum in 1930. with 3 million and 300 thousand tons. for a value of 266 million francs, Tunisia became one of the main producing countries in the world. The excavated phosphates are transported from Gafsa to Sfax which is the port of embarkation. Although production was significantly reduced and dropped in 1934 to 1,766,000 tons, Tunisia remains the main phosphate producing country after the United States. Tunisia also possesses considerable deposits of iron ores, whose production (546,000 tons) in 1934 exceeded that of the total of Italian mines. Of lesser importance is the production of lead mines, which in 1934 was 27,000 tons. Mining has helped to promote a certain immigration current of Italian specialized miners, mostly from Sardinia. For Tunisia economics and business, please check businesscarriers.com.
Industry and trade. – The industrial activity of Tunisia, devoid of coal and oil and in conditions of having little use of hydraulic energy, is very limited and is limited to the reduction of lead ore, the production of a limited part of superphosphates, grinding of wheat and the manufacture of pasta as well as the processing of hides. The trade in the region is related to the mineral and agricultural wealth that it can export and to the importation of those raw materials (coal, oil) and the various products of the European industry that are imported particularly from France, favored as it is by tariffs. customs. In 1934, imports from France rose to 1,189 million francs and exports to 614 million; Algeria followed with 124 and 62 million respectively, and then Italy, with 72 and 65 million, leaving at a considerable distance the movement of exchanges of the other countries: Great Britain, the United States, Belgium. Also noteworthy is the movement with Tripolitania (13 and 24 million).
Communications. – Tunisia’s external communications are maintained by regular maritime services linking Tunis with Marseille and Corsica, with the Italian ports of Genoa, Livorno, Naples, Palermo and Cagliari. Coastal maritime services are also established to link Tunis and the regency ports with Algiers and Tripoli. Air services also link the capital of the regency with Rome, Palermo, Cagliari, Antibes and Ajaccio. Internal communications are provided by a vast railway network and by ordinary roads that the government of the protectorate has extensively extended and cared for. The Tunisian railway network, which extends for over 2500 km., Is an extension of the Algerian one and now touches almost all the most important centers of the regency; later he will have to reconnect from Gabes with the railways of Tripolitania which now stop in Zuara. Automotive services are carried out on a network of 5000 km. well asphalted ordinary roads and integrate the railway network; a bi-weekly service connects Tunis to Tripoli. Telegraph offices and telephone stations are distributed throughout the inhabited centers.
Cities and towns. – Tunisia, which enjoyed periods of great prosperity in the Carthaginian age as well as during the Roman domination and subsequently under the Arab one, saw the rise and development of numerous inhabited centers, some completely disappeared while others retain in the remains of their monuments certain testimonies of their ancient importance. After the period of decline that coincided with the Turkish domination, the urban centers of Tunisia began to develop and improve. However, except for the capital Tunis, which in 1931 had 202,405 residents, no other city in Tunisia reaches 30,000 residents. and of the 59 municipalities of the regency just 12 have a population of over 10,000 residents: of these over 20,000 Sfax with 39,969 residents, Susa with 25,324, Biserta, with 23,206, and Kairouan with 21,532.