Seen from the Sea


Manuel has been a fisher man for all of his life, he lived all of his life in Porto do Barqueiro in the most northern tip of Galicia and all of his life he’s been living in careful observance of the sea. “When I was becoming a fisherman everything was different: There were no motors to take in the nets and on a boat were five exhausted guys whereas today there are comfortable two to split the income. There was no GPS navigation and you had to observe the surrounding carefully not to lose your nets you had laid out the day before. For the percebeiros there were no neoprene suits and everybody of a fisher men family then had someone in the family who died of the cold and wild waters. But then again, there was no plastic, which the sea is full with. It’s a disaster really.” Manuel pauses, the slowly continues: “And really: people who ignore climate change or say it’s not true, those people don’t know the sea. Winters are less heavy as they used to be, there are less strong swells than 20 or 30 years ago. Temperatures are rising and there is less fish than ever before. That’s a fact – ask other fisher men if you want to!”

A description of our times through a sailors mouth. It was part of our mission to accompany a fisher man on his boat and hereby we successfully did. Manuel and his son Marcus took us out and we were stunned by the beauty of the coast seen from the sea. Fishing pulpo – octopus – is a repetitive work and in worse weather and/or sea conditions it must be a truely rough job. But having met Manuel on a week end day checking out his boat (“I missed it… really!”), seeing him and his son working together as everyday and observing the beautiful coast line ourselves we deeply believe him when he’s saying: “Fishing is my life. No matter what changes: I want to life close to the sea in Porto de Bargueiro, I want to be a fisher man and independent as I am for all of my life.” And then he smiled: “Only… I don’t want to die on the sea. It’s more comfortable to die on land, in a bed, no?”