We had fish for supper last night. It was quite scrumptious. Which brings me to today’s topic: commercial fishing in Mallorcan waters. It is quite a science. Or so it seems for the average person.
For a start, recreational fishing is governed by the Consell de Mallorca, whilst commercial fishing comes under the guidance of Brussels and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), an agency of the United Nations. Commercial fishermen need a license to catch fish, depending on the fish they want to fetch. Then, there are three zones for commercial fishing in the waters around Mallorca: up to three nautical miles from the coast, between three and twenty-two miles, and beyond twenty-two miles. Depending on the type of fish and on the license, the fishing boats set off to their allocated area, equipped with the suitable fishing equipment, be that lines, nets, trawls, dredges, hooks or pot traps. The fishing equipment or tackle has to be well looked after, repaired, prepared and maintained to safeguard the best catch possible.
The commercial fishing nets have to be repaired on a daily basis (photos top and centre), a routine which might seem repetitive and a bit tedious to us laymen but is quite essential for the livelihood of the crew who rely on the perfect state and function of their working tools.
Large fish such as the Pez Espada (Xiphias gladius, swordfish) are being caught with strong lines and anzuelos (hooks) as per the photo (bottom). They can be found beyond the twenty-two miles radius; they can be up to 4 metres in length and up to 500 kilogrammes in weight. They are quite tasty; it’s not what we had last night, though. We had Lubina (European seabass), a fish that was probably fish farmed near Portocolom.
The photos were taken in Portocolom, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The dates: May 15th and June 22nd, 2012. The time was 15:10:44, 15:11:18, 10:34:30 and 11:08:08, respectively.