Denia, the Fishing Port
Denia is an important fishing town which dates back hundreds of years. Unfortunately the fishing fleet here in Denia has depleted due to the high price of fuel and the low prices of the fish. Monday through Friday, the fishing boats leave the port before dawn and head out to their favourite fishing grounds. some of the fleet stay within sight of the shore and some head out a couple of hundred kilometres toward Ibiza, one of the Bealeric Islands. Promptly at 1630h they return with their daily catch.
It appears that the fleet divides itself into trolling, triple mesh net fishing, octopus fishing as well as tuna and swordfish pole fishing. The local fishing industry are educating the public and tourist on their methods by providing a daily tour of the docks and auction floor. This is one of the only areas where the nets are still mended by hand.
Once the catch is sorted, it is reorganized in the auction house according to the fishing vessel, graded and sent along a conveyor belt to await the auction.
As the catch passes along the belt, on the screens the auctioneer posts a price and it gradually drops until a buyer pushes a button on a hand held remote to buy the lot. This method is called a Dutch Auction. The purchased catch continues to the next station where the buyers particulars are printed on a label and dropped into the catch. The auction workers throw on some ice and stack by buyers for the awaiting trucks. For the catch that is not purchased during the auction, is sent to the onsite store for the general public to buy. this whole process takes about 90 minutes.
Interestingly, the one thing I wanted, Octopus, is never available in the store. In fact, it is hard to find at the local fish monger. I have been on the hunt for a 1 kilo octopus for two weeks and finally found a frozen one in the grocery store. David Robertson from The Dirty Apron in Vancouver has a youtube video of the most fantastic Spanish style Grilled Octopus that has become a favourite in our family. I was on the verge of learning enough Spanish to ask one of the boats to sell me one which is a big NO NO!
With this abundant supply of sea food, Denia's restaurant industry is thriving. During the height if the tourist season, the town boasts about 400 restaurants including a 3 star Michelin that we have reservations for next week. Can't wait!