Los Cristianos Fishermen Fighting A Rising Tide

The sea may be lovely for swimming but there are choppy waters around Los Cristianos port as old and new collide. Changes are taking place in the layout of the fishermens area between the old beach and the ferry port as the port authority looks to modernise and increase revenue. It’s not just physical changes, Los Cristianos has grown steadily but is still very much a working area for the fishing trade but many of the seafaring folk and the Asociacion Vecinos – Amigos de Los Cristianos (neighbours & friends) feel their way of life is being eroded by tighter controls on their catch and higher mooring fees.

There has been a crackdown on outstanding fees around the harbour and some boats have been cleared away, others are now being brought nearer the shore at new moorings. Down by the ferry port many old small fishing boats are now moored by ropes while on the quayside new pontoons are being lowered into place in the water. New concrete seating with the port authority crest on them have started to appear and the general look is changing presumably to encourage more profitable leisure craft. On top of this cold wind of change many boat owners complained that their recent traditional celebrations for the Virgen del Carmen were restricted by petty rules being enforced.

There is a growing rearguard action among the locals, several meetings have been held at the cultural centre and the Platforma en Defensa de Los Cristianos attracted 300 concerned supporters to the Plaza del Pescadora two weeks ago. the next protest is on Friday 7th October at the church plaza. then on Saturday 15 October at 4 pm the fishermen are holding their Sortija de Barcos, a gathering of boats with crew in old traditional costume. It’s a celebration of their proud past but in the current climate it may well have an air of defiance as an added extra. So keep an eye on the port, you don’t need a bit of seaweed to predict that things could get choppy.