The fish market - Bombabar

November 03, 2020 2 min read

We are really starting to immerse our selves in the local culture. And Spain has a deep connection with the sea.

First, we are in dire need of a wake-up and to get ourselves into the swing of the day. We take on the much celebrated tradition of coffee and rum.

With a heavy hand on the rum and the bitterness of a macchiato it is the much needed kick we are after alongside some tapas. We then browse the local market, inspecting eels, various fish and delights such as the humble broad bean.
It’s then off to the fisherman’s wharf to meet a local fisherman by the name of Chavi. And the huge local cat population.

Chavi’s family is five generations deep in the fishing industry, which is getting tougher and tougher.
Local fisherman aren’t into the industrial scale of fishing. Their small catches mean they live day-to-day and hand to mouth.

With careful planning however, it’s possible to make a decent salary. They have only a small fleet of 10 boats in which they go out and fish with nets that drop up to 100 metres deep into the sea.
Their catch large amounts of cuttle fish as well as striped trumpeter and octopus. They also embrace traditional methods such as the use of hand lines.

Once they have finished for the day they take their catch and sell it to wholesalers, which then sell the fish in Barcelona. Chavi also noted one of the biggest environmental concerns though wasn’t just overfishing but the fact that the levels of pollution have been increasing throughout the ocean.

Next stop is the local fish auction, which is open to the public. The local fishermen are allowed to sell directly to the public and can often fetch a better price from them.
But then they risk not selling all their stock. The fishermen lay out their catch and start the auction themselves in lots, usually starting at about 15 euros. The public stands around pitching one price after another until the final price is reached, much like any auction.
We then venture on to the wholesale market, which is in the main port of Barcelona. The large fishing boats there can fish up to 500m deep and come in with massive hauls of everything from scampi and prawns and to much larger fish.

We sneakily buy some prawns on the down low; Alex has to sneak off with them, as it turns out these fishermen aren’t allowed to sell direct to consumers.

And then along with our dodgy prawn dealing we almost also get arrested for taking pictures of the market by undercover police who are there to monitor the fish quoters.
After all that excitement it is time to enjoy our haul from the market to cook. And let’s not forget the wine.