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The Mallorcan Fishing Fleet

Fishing in Mallorca is on a decline, along with everything else but All Inclusive hotel holidays. The almond industry is on its knees, the shoe and leather industry stand with their backs to the walls, the furniture business is half the size of what it was, the ladrillos production (clay tiles and bricks) is way past its golden days and boat building is a trade with few new contracts and hardly anyone prepared to undertake an apprenticeship to learn the task. Let’s not even talk about the building industry or farming in general, and orange, lemon or fig harvesting in particular. The boom in Mallorcan wine and olive oil does not redress the balance.

Fishing is not economically viable any longer, something to do with European fishing laws and a severe depletion of fish stocks. Yes, there are four or five fishing trawlers going out every day in Cala Figuera (Santanyí) [see photo bottom], and in Alcúdia, Porto Christo, Sóller and Palma as well, but that may be a total of 25 trawlers where there were perhaps 60, not all that many years ago.

Smaller fishing boats with a crew of one or two like the one in the photo (top), mending his fishing nets, are bumping the numbers up a bit, but not much. The income from their daily catch of perhaps one or two crates full of fresh fish is not enough to feed a family of four if there is no supplementary income earned by the spouse. La crisis does not help either; market prices for fresh fish in Palma’s markets are way down and a considerable number of fish mongers have given up their market stalls over the last two years or so.

The photos were taken in Portocolom (top) and Cala Figuera/Santanyí (bottom), Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: March 13th and 14th, 2012. The time was 11:35:24 and 16:59:38, respectively.

4 replies »

  1. Sad to hear. Last year we spent an afternoon lunching in the Port d’Andraxt – it was amazing watching the busy activity of the fish mongers as they delivered fresh daily catch to the restaurants along the water. We marvelled at the fact that the deliveries were made several times as we enjoyed our delicious fresh lunch.

  2. sadly Like everything else in to-days economic climate there is a big downward spiral of industries. i like Anita can remember the fish catches being unloading at the fish markets.

  3. Yes don’t forget our Port Andraitx! But, like you say the catches are very meager these days as you can see if you visit the Lonja (fish market) in the late afternoon! Lovely spectacle though!

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