MARINA ALTA harbourside markets where the fishing fleets’ catches are auctioned were overwhelmed with fish after Storm Gloria. Huge tuna and grouper were washed up in some coastal towns but in others, boats returned laden with gilt-head bream and sea bass after hundreds of thousands escaped from the storm-damaged fish farm off Altea.
A spokesman for Javea’s Cofradia (fishing guild) told the provincial Spanish press that once the storm had subsided, local boats auctioned off approximately 3,000 boxes of fish in just two days. Each weighed around seven kilos but despite the high prices usually commanded for bream and bass, they went for the “ridiculous” price of around €2 a kilo.
By the end of the day, the fishermen still had “dozens of kilos” of unauctioned fish even after lowering to the price to 50 cents a kilo. Ironically, after days of having to remain in port and despite the satisfaction of returning with boats loaded with fish, their catches brought little financial gain, the Cofradia said.