Emblematic fish – and dish – of Málaga under threat

LAST UPDATED: 27 Feb, 2008 @ 13:48
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boquerones

Has climate change depleted stocks of boquerones?

A PLATE of deep-fried fish at your favourite beachside restaurant could soon be a thing of the past.

Stocks of that staple of un plato de pescaito frito – the boqueron – have fallen so low in the waters of Málaga that this fish barely figures in the province’s fish counters and restaurants.

Instead, los Boquerones – as natives to Málaga are known – are being served what they consider as an inferior cousin of the Engraulis encrasicholus – a species of white bait.

Smaller and more tender than those caught in the Atlantic Ocean, the white bait of Málaga is seen as a particular delicacy.

“For a number of years now, I have not been able to find un boqueron de Málaga in the lonja (the wholesale fish market). I sell people fish caught off Huelva, but these are not the same,” a stall holder at the city’s Ataranza market said.

Despite measures to protect the fish, catches have dropped dramatically in recent years from 10,000 to 500 tonnes annually – and scientists are at a loss to explain why.

“We do not know for sure why the numbers of this fish are now so low in the Alboran Sea (the stretch of water from Málaga to Almería). Restrictions are in place to prevent the fish being caught in the spring, and fishermen have to throw back immature boquerones,” said Ana Giráldez of the Oceanographic Centre.

One theory has it that Global Warming is contributing to the dwindling stocks. Temperatures in the Mediterranean have risen gradually over the past 50 years, which has led to increased salt levels in the water. According to Señora Giráldez, the fish inhabits areas in which salt and fresh water freely circulates. However, low rainfall has led to a decrease in the amount of water flowing into the sea from rivers.

Changes in the food chain are also thought to be a factor in the loss of the boqueron. There has ben an increase in numbers of mackerel and a decrease in the amount of plankton in the Mediterranean.

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  1. I think the sparring between OP and the Euro freebie is unnecessary.
    I have read and enjoyed both on holiday here.
    I did enjoy your feature on the (flatulent) cow, but one thing I`d love to know: thousands of years ago when the guy first “discovered” you could get milk from a cow, what DID he think he was doing in the first place……?
    Keep up the good work…….

  2. I agree – pointless and chilidish! Personally I read both but have always enjoyed reading the olive press more because of the excellent feature articles, especially the ones by Jason Heppenstall.

    Now for a negative! I have found the new design very hard to read at times because of the very tight line-spacing and the use of brightly coloured boxes. I, along with many of my elderly friends find reading online is now a much more enjoyable experience.

  3. Design has took a definite downward turn. I am a friend of Dan but i do agree that since he has left that the olive press is probably the worst looking newspaper in Spain. We all had a laugh at the Western Andalucia edition but now the Eastern edition looks worse.
    Good luck in England Dan!

  4. For many years I was a head of design for a large daily and can tell you that this is the worst designed newspaper i have ever seen. It looks like a 10 year old with a copy of Microsoft Word designed it. You should really invest in a proper design package like Quark or InDesign.

    • Why would anyone use Georgia bold for a headline font? I have always been told to use a condensed font. Have a look at this http://www.37signals.com/svn/posts/140-the-10-most-popular-newspaper-typefaces
    • Have you never heard of white space? Let your news stories breathe, everything looks so cluttered. The front page of the last few issues looked ugly, confusing and very strange. I don’t understand why you had a yellow headline floating around in a very dull photo.
    • What is going on with the leading? Why make it hard for people to read?
    • How many WOBs (and every other color under the sun) can you squeeze into one newspaper? Use sparingly for more impact. Pick a simple color palette of 3 or 4 colors and stick to it.

    I could go on and on but i think you get the point.

    The content of the newspaper is fantastic but it just isn’t presented well. Please get in touch if you need any more help/advice.

    Ralph

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