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A Day’s Fishing

On the walls along the rocky coast of Portixol on the outskirts of Palma we can find a large number of hand painted tiles depicting all the native fish that can be found in Mallorcan waters. Similar tiles adorn the walls in Palma proper opposite the Cathedral where the local Mallorcan crustaceans are shown, such as gambas, sea urchins, lobsters and so forth, as well as a litany of marine plants such as algae, sea fennel and seaweed, to name but a few. The fish and seafood are named by their Catalan specification, whereas the sea plants are illustrated with their names in Latin. The lovingly painted illustrations may seem a bit dated as to the style of their execution and were probably done in the Seventies but, I find them pleasing to the eye, very appropriate for their location and most useful in their informative character.

Which brings me to today’s topic: the fishing season started a few days ago. September 1st was the beginning of this year’s Raor season. You can find specimen on offer at Mercat Olivar in Palma at 65 €/kg. Fishing season is a bit of a misnomer in as much as you can fish really any day of the year unless you want to go after protected species such as the Raor, the Pez de Limón or other protected specimen. Octopus, cuttlefish and squid, for instance, can be fished all year round but, no more than 10 units are allowed per day and per person. I do not know about any protection of Eriços del Mar (Sea Urchins) or Navajas; those I only eat in restaurants. The Llampuga, commonly known as Dolphin-Fish, is not protected by closed seasons as it is a seasonal fish which comes to the Mediterranean waters only now, between August and November. This fish makes for an excellent meal; at the annual Fira de La Llampuga in Cala Rajada you can try this excellent pescado in two or three dozen different cooked, steamed, fried or smoked versions.

If you want to do some fishing yourself, do not forget that you will need a fishing license. Such licenses can only be obtained from the Conselleria d’Agricultura i Pesca and only in Palma, Manacor, Inca, Felanitx, Sóller and Campos del Port. The fee is 13.60 € for a two year period. Fishing is not allowed within any harbour installations, within 100 m of bathing areas, within 250 m of professional fishermen’s territory or in protected Reserves Marines such as the Cabrera archipelago, Sa Dragonera, the Malgrats and others, even though, certain exceptions do apply there. For more information, please consult the websites of the Consell de Mallorca or of the Fisheries Department.

The photo was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: August 25th, 2010. The time was 12:34:33.

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