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Married to the sea

María Torres Tur and José Torres Serra are a couple dedicated to artisanal and traditional fishing in Ibiza. José is the skipper of the Jurel, a llaüt from the 1960s that he uses to sail every day in the summer to fish with small 300-metre nets.
By Luciana Aversa
13/09/2023

María, who is a qualified sailor but does not work as such, lends her support from the land by sewing up any nets that have broken at sea. She is also a member of the Ibiza Women’s Fishing Network, the first female group in the sector in the Balearic Islands.

From the sa Caleta wharf, they take their catches to the Cofradía de Ibiza or directly to restaurants. “That’s kilometre zero,” says María, who combines fishing with her work in the hotel business, just as José divides his afternoons at sea with his daytime job in a company.

José explains that the “sea is free” and that each fisherman has “his key points”. “And if they haven’t been occupied by others, you go and cast your nets,” he says. Their nets do not drag along the sea floor, but are “drop and lift”, like “a mesh placed in the sea”.

This kind of mesh can be left for a maximum of 48 hours to catch lobster, for example, while for fish such as mullet they are left for “4 or 5 hours because otherwise the dolphins come and don’t leave you a thing,” he adds.

Both learned everything about the world of fishing from José’s father, Pep ‘Pisset’. He was a well known fisherman on the island and one of the three creators of Café Caleta. “He was an influencer,” jokes María, who, together with José, is keeping the most traditional activity in Ibiza alive.

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