Hello from sunny and windy Sicily.
I am on holiday this week - and what a beautiful place with a pristine sea a few meters from the house. And even better, the fishing harbour is so close that I can 'spy' on their operations and get some ideas on the state of the fisheries.
So for today's post, I want to just tell you the story of what I see and what I think about it. I'd like to hear your views and other similar experiences from other locations..
From the window:
In this period the fleet ranges from very tiny to medium-large boats, most of them local, some with matriculation from nearby towns. I like seeing this, I value this as a positive thing - as it's the local economy that benefits. I think it's better like this rather than having a big multinational employing fisheremen from other areas coming over with big trawlers (it happens in other places). The culture is strong here, and fishing is something for the skilled. This allows residents of what would be otherwise just a small town to get a strong sense of community, and despite the fact that there is limited fish in the sea - they don't seem to be overly competing but to be friendly and communal with each other. Truly something that we should all be learning!
The larger ones get out in the evening, it seems after they get some sort of 'Okay' from the coast guard as they all get out at the same time. In one instant, from a full and quiet port, all the engines are switched on and the port is somehow empty. And then in the morning, from 6, here they are coming back followed by seagulls in that typical idillic scene that you may see in some photos.
Before their departures, the boat is loaded full of polystyrene boxes. When I say full , I say full. HundredS per boat. And ice. Wrapped in plastic. Apparently just in Italy something like 14.000 tonnes of polystyrene are used every year in the fishing sector. And if you think that it 'weights nothing' then you can imagine what volume 14000 tonnes make up!
Upon their return, the same lorries are awaiting ready to take the fish to the big distribution. While some of the locals wait with their buckets for the pieces that escape and fall on the pavement..
It makes me wonder a few things: 1) can there be an alternative to all of this plastic? and 2) how much does the big distribution pays these people who work hard and are exposed to working dangers?
For point (1):
Yes. There is a solution: using reusable fishing boxes made of polietilene. It can be done, and while it may require a little bit more effort, i think it's 'worth it' effort. It's already being trialled in some other fishing harbours
for point (2) I don't really have an answer - but would love to find out!
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