Are you worried about the price of fish? Go on, admit it, you lie awake fretting about the price of fish. No? Some of you are probably more worried about the price of chocolate. Here on the Costa Blanca the fishing industry is suffering because the price paid to the fishermen of the big fleets here in Vilajoiosa and Alicante is getting lower and lower, to the point where it is not worth their while to catch any fish!
The photo on the left shows a dramatic example of the dangers that the fishermen are exposed to while out at sea (photo courtesy of http://www.pescalicante.com.) Prices paid to fishermen have been falling since 2008, yet the prices in the shops go up. Who is making the profit and ruining the trade? At one time on the Costa Blanca, the price of fish would have been a talking point: now nobody notices the fishing crisis, for this is a service economy dependent on tourism and real estate.
In 1956 Benidorm was a small fishing town – little more than a village. The price of fish would be a major discussion point. In that year, the mayor gave permission for the new seafront avenue on the Playa Levante and the development of Benidorm began, at a rapid pace that saw it become the leading resort in Spain by 1966.
The 1966 film Un Beso en el Puerto was a great hit for the new Spanish film industry. The film was memorable for its hit songs by Manolo Escobar and the romanticised picture of traditional Spanish life on the Costa Blanca. Its opening sequence is now remarkable for its footage of the old Benidorm skyline, before it became the Las Vegas of the Costa Blanca.
This film was made during the first wave of the Spanish film industry. Now Alicante has its own ‘Hollywood’ where I took the students on a trip last week (see Rabit goes to Hollywood). There are many more opportunities now for young people than there were forty years ago, and nobody cares about the price of fish.