Sardine crisis “forcing fishermen to emigrate”

Almost the last ever to consider emigration, Portugal’s beleaguered sardine fishermen are now realising they may have no choice.

A poignant text in Diário de Notícias has given the point of view of seasoned fisherman Evangelino Rosário – one of scores forbidden to fish sardines any more this summer as a result of government-imposed “quotas” (see:

As DN explains, sardine fishermen guarantee that the sea “is full of fish”.

“This is the best time to catch sardines”, Rosário told DN. They are sought by holidaymakers, and their price at the docks makes the effort worthwhile.

But with the government refusing to lift its ban – despite appeals from 10 borough councils – Rosário “is thinking of going abroad”, he told the paper.

It is a situation facing scores of fishermen who say the government’s offer of €20-€27 per day in compensation does not allow them to survive.

Fishermen in Olhão, Portimão, Nazaré and Peniche have already exhausted this year’s quotas, with counterparts in Figueira da Foz and Matosinhos the only ones still authorised to catch sardines this year.

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