By Tara Rippin • 18 March 2020 • 13:50
CRISIS POINT: Plummeting prices put fishing industry on the Costa Blanca at risk.
THE fish market on the Costa Blanca is on the line as the coronavirus crisis plunges it into grave depths.
The closure of bars and restaurants due to the ‘state of alarm’ has caused shellfish prices to drop by up to 80 per cent in the Alicante province, and the consumption of fish such as seabeam has plummeted, with the majority of fleets fearing they may have to cease activity.
In Denia and Javea, fishermen have already moored their boats, as “there is no profitability”.
And for the moment, Fishermen’s Guilds in the province plan to half the number of vessels.
Fishermen in Torrevieja, who specialise in catching cheaper species such as sardines and anchovies, have the added worry of bad weather at sea, expected to last until the end of the week.
And in Santa Pola, which has one of the most active fishing associations in the province, more than a dozen trawlers remained in dock yesterday as fish auction prices tumbled by up to 25 per cent.
However, José Ignacio Llorca Ramis, senior skipper in Villajoyosa and president of the Provincial Federation of Brotherhoods, told Informacion, that online sales have increased, and exports to Italy, Greece and France continue.
Indications from the Brotherhood of Altea indicate that sales were “very good” on Monday but, although there is a willingness to fish, a meeting is scheduled to assess whether the trawlers will continue to leave.
*Fish market auctions are taking place but fishermen and buyers must wear masks and gloves and keep a metre distance, so all transactions are done electronically.
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.
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