Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Mariscadoras and Mejilloneras, Galicia

Mariscadoras is the Spanish name given to, usually women, that pick up sea food by hand when the tide goes out. From far away they look like ants, they aren't ants but do work like them! As soon as there is a nice day and the tide is low, they show up in the sea shore with their high rubber boots and buckets.

Mejilloneras are punts for breeding mussels, oysters and clams, there are thousands of them in Galicia. From far away it seems as if there were hundreds of submarines floating in the sea.
They are part of a more organized economy, and belong to companies or families that have a concession to breed and market the seafood they grow in the mejilloneras. It's all very regulated, if you have a mejillonera for mussels you can't breed oysters on it, and so on.
The little baby seafood is put and tied in nets and hung on the inside of the mejillonera, therefore it grows in the water only that it isn't loose. After 2 months, once the baby mussels have grown a bit, they are separated and put in larger nets so that they have space to grow more. They are kept there for about a year until they are ready to be picked up and sold.

Both, mariscadoras and mejillonearas, are very important for the Galician economy.

I hope you enjoy the pictures. To stay in theme of seafood and fish, I have also included some pictures of the fish markets in Pontevedra and in the town of O Grove.

Jenny traveller looking out the window to see the "mejilloneras"

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