If you ask most people when the crisis began, they will answer that it was in 2008, but in reality it’s like asking when World War Two began – it depends for whom: if you’re an American it’s 1941 but if you’re Chinese, it began in the mid 30’s with the Japanese invasion. And so it is that the crisis for Motril fishermen began long before 2008.
The crisis began with the drying up of EU funds, the steadily climbing diesel prices and the low fetching price of their catch in the markets, even when the building boom was still in full swing. No, the Motril fishermen have been wallowing in a crisis for years, so the news that exploration for natural gas several miles of the Motril shore is just one more threat to their besieged sector.
Although the fishermen have received no official information of what is happening, the ecologist groups like Buxus have been busy accruing information. What they have found out is that the prospection company, Chinook, will begin work in the winter of 2012; i.e., towards the end of this year, and will affect some 1,538 sq/m of seabed off the coasts of the provinces of Málaga and Granada. The prospection is calculated to last between 20 and 30 days.
For the Motril fishermen this translates into a stoppage and confinement to port. In other areas where prospecting has taken place, local fishing fleets have been laid up for five months and when they could get out to fish, the catches have been dramatically reduced.
If the project goes ahead, it could mean the end for the 300 people involved in the Motril fishing sector – they’re already battling to stay afloat, but this latest threat will surely sink them.
(News: Motril, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)