The case of the squid fished with a rod, line and hook is well known by everyone.This squid is a seasonal high quality product, fished principally between June and October in the Cantabrian Sea. The fisherman goes to sea, early in the morning, in his own boat. Usually it is and old, retired commercial fisherman. He remains active and keeps his living going after dedicating his life to the sea. Lately, due to the economic crisis in Spain, it is becoming more frequent that we also see youngsters that go to sea, too. In the majority of cases each fisherman works exclusively for a restaurant. This is a reality well known, and accepted, by everyone. The customer wants fresh high-quality hand-fished squid, so the restaurant pays more, even clandestinely, to satisfy its client. The price of this squid is higher due to the added value and complication of fishing by hand: tides, moon phases and fishing uncertain grounds. There is a great demand for this quality product, but there are no clear rules for these fishermen that do not offer their products through the Fishermen’s Cooperatives.
Any surplus squid, not purchased by the restaurants, is taken to the fish markets where it is sold at market prices that are much lower than the private sale. The price is similar to the price of other frozen fish or squid that is mechanically or factory fished. The markets do not differentiate that the squid has been fished by hand. People are asking this could contribute to the disappearance of sustainable artisanal fishing, in our case, locally hand-fished squid.
The boats that dish under the flag of the fishermen’s Cooperatives have a clear set of rules to guide them, recreational craft are also covered by rules, however for these local fishermen fall into a legal vacuum.