Currimar: artisanal traditions and sustainable fishing
Yldau and Fabian got to try their hands at cooking and preserving seafood delicacies under the guidance of Nuria and Nieves, two women who have taken a dying tradition and turned it into a booming business: Currimar.
Burela is a small fishing village in the north of Galicia with a long tradition in seafood canning. But as fishing has become something rather more industrial, artisanal canning has lost its importance. Even in Burela people were starting to forget the art of cannery.
But Nuria Carreño and Nieves Medina still remembered – they had long canned locally caught albacore tuna for family and friends.
This support is managed locally by fishermen and other stakeholders who team up as Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs) with the aim of helping the community build a sustainable future.
Nuria and Nieves had an idea – they would turn a hobby into a source of income and create a business out of preserving local fish and seafood in glass jars. They wanted to support sustainable fishing and to bring to the market absolutely the best of what local fishermen had to offer. And they would always prepare the preserve with a great deal of respect and affection, as if it were meant for the family dinner.
Their FLAG gave them money to fit out premises and to buy the necessary equipment and, even more importantly, expert advice and guidance on how to make the business profitable and how to clear administrative hurdles.
With the help of a third woman, Placer Rodríguez, Nuria and Nieves went on to develop 15 hand-made products, eight in the first year and seven more in the second. Placer’s marketing skills helped them find markets for their products – and Currimar was established.
Today, their company processes ten tonnes of fish per year and their ever-growing selection of products is sold in gourmet shops across Galicia and in specialised shops and department stores around the country, in Madrid, Barcelona, Alicante and Bilbao, in Andalusia – and in Mexico.
Nuria and Nieves’ project won an award at the FARNET conference in Brussels in March 2015.
Cycling for freedom? Well, at least to and across the Freedom Bridge. Getting there in the summer heat was pretty exhausting but luckily there were refreshments available on the way - where some locals turned out to be true Ken fans!