Fishing has shown its strength as an essential sector in 2020. The fishing port of Torrevieja has been able to maintain a significant minimum level of activity with a turnover in the first sale in the auction of the landed catches of 2.5 million euros. In total, the fishing fleet, most of it from the Region of Murcia, landed 1,555 tons of fish last year with a movement of 182,000 commercialized boxes, according to the economic balance provided by the Fishermen’s Association to INFORMATION. During the confinement of the months of March and April, not even five vessels arrived that continued to fish, but the fish market remained open and with daily auction due to the demand of supermarket chains and wholesalers. The health crisis and its economic consequences have revealed the dependence of the fleet on the demand for the hotel industry.
In a trend established in recent years, it is the capture of anchovy that allows the purse-seine fishing activity to be maintained in Torrevieja and has made a port in the south of Alicante the main one for sale of blue fish in the Region of Murcia. The 769 tonnes of the blue fish king caught resulted in an auction value of 1.4 million euros. While it has been the decrease in sardine fishing that has weighed down the total turnover in 2020. Only 184 tonnes sold for 445,000 euros were landed, 60% less in catches than during the previous year. In 2019 the auction had a turnover of 3.4 million euros, however the decrease shown by the figures is only 25% compared to the previous year despite the pandemic.
The current government team of the Torrevieja City Council has restarted its “fight” to move the fish market from its location. The previous local government and the Generalitat Valenciana guaranteed the Fishermen’s Association a location very similar to the current one next to the ice factory, its historical location, for which it hoped to obtain European aid. The project for the new brotherhood, which was drawn up by the City Council in 2018, has not been processed. The fish market does not require more space -now it has plenty of it- but it does require dependencies that are more adjusted to its current activity, for example to expand ice production or to assimilate tourist fishing visits tourism than this year and despite all the difficulties, have been kept almost daily outside the period of confinement. The delimitation of port uses of the Consell would save some of the two current buildings of the fish market for public use -exhibition room and others- as has happened with other similar dependencies along the Valencian coast.
New biological strike without news from the Consell marine reserve
The purse seine fleet of Torrevieja and Murcia began on December 6 the closure that will last until January 5. The strike is aimed at the regeneration of the blue fish species and coincides every year with the time that could generate more moorings due to bad weather and holidays. The annual biological stops are financed by the Maritime and Fisheries Fund of the European Union. In the area of recovery of the fishing grounds, the Generalitat has not advanced in the processing of the marine reserve for the Torrevieja coastline of 400 hectares that it announced in 2019 and that has a previous study by the UA. This reserve would prevent the intrusion of hundreds of amateur sport fishing fishermen on the Torrevieja coast and the damage that their anchorage generates in the protecPoseidononia meadow.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.