A fishing boat from Galicia has been impounded in the Republic of Ireland after its crew were accused of ‘cutting the fins off sharks’. The Virxe da Blanca (‘Virgin in White’) is being held off the port of Castletown in the south of the country after an inspection of its practices led authorities to believe the fishermen were guilty of ‘finning’.
This is illegal in Europe, although common-place in east and south-east Asia, where sharks are caught, their fins removed and the remainder of the creature is thrown back in the sea. The fins – considered a delicacy, especially in China – are then typically made into soup.
In the case of the Virxe da Blanca, which has passed every single inspection up to now, the fishermen say they were acting in accordance with EU norms: after catching Blue Sharks (Prionace Glauca) and whilst cleaning them for future sale, the crew cut off the ‘anal fins’, which are located exactly where the name suggests.
The fishing industry does not consider these ‘fins’; rather, an ‘attachment’ or ‘appendix’, because they are very fragile and do not serve the same purpose as the ‘main’ fins.
Sergio López of the Fishing Producers’ Organisation (OPP) in Lugo, which the boat – based in Burela – belongs to, says all previous inspections of the Virxe da Blanca’s Blue Shark-catching practices have been signed off as legal, and believes the vessel has been impounded due to a ‘misunderstanding’.
According to López, the Secretary-General for Fishing has already written to port and fishing authorities, and is hoping the issue will be ‘satisfactorily cleared up’ very soon.
And Spain’s industry for fishing says it is waiting to hear back from its counterpart in Ireland, but assures that the crew has not been formally accused of any offence against EU regulations.
The 13-strong multi-national crew, of whom three are from Galicia, used to fish off Spain’s northern coast catching white tuna, known as Bonito in Spain and a popular dish in fish restaurants along the Cantabrian Sea regions, but were experiencing disappointing results from their trade and decided to branch out internationally two years ago.
Six schools took part in Torrevieja’s celebration of the international day of the
child on Monday 20 th November.
The mayor reminded everyone at the end of the performance that although
there has been progress, on this day we should remember those children who
are still denied their rights and remain disadvantaged. ‘We must work every
day for their welfare and development.’
Altogether there are 54 children’s rights recognised by the Children’s Rights
Convention. The evening’s entertainment was opened by children from Cuba
Primary school who sang a song about some of these rights. The Alpe school
includes children with disabilities and thirteen boys and girls from here danced
and used sign language to protest against discrimination.
Five pupils from IES Mediterráneo became ‘doctors’ for the evening to provide
advice on living a healthy life. Their performance, based on article 24 of the
convention, reminded the audience of the rights that all children have to
Acequión Primary School had constructed a magic machine to provide
solutions to problems and representatives across the age range from five
years old offered ideas for making the world a better place.
The fourteen pupils from Salvador Ruso Primary School sang about
discrimination to a piano accompaniment from one of their teachers. Finally,
Ciudad del Mar closed the event with a shadow theatre production with nine
students portraying the fear and anguish in which victims of bullying can live
The Councillor for Equality of the City of Orihuela, Sabina Galindo was at the forefront of recent
events commemorate the International Day Against Gender Violence. The programme began on
Friday when a purple ribbon – the emblem of the cause – was tied to the façade of the Town Hall.
The weekend saw a march Against Gender Violence from the Town Hall to the Gabriel Miró
roundabout, where manifestos were read and a video made by the council was screened, showing
all those involved in the fight against Gender Violence across the municipality. A Social Forum and a
mass were also held as part of the initiative.
The councillor said: “It is not enough just to participate in the commemorative events every 25 th
November; the awareness of this scourge must be of a permanent nature, and we cannot allow
situations of gender violence to occur, not one more. "
The council also presented the statistics of Gender Violence in the municipality, collected in the last
year by the Service of Attention to Gender Violence (SEMAVIG), which offers comprehensive care to
women who are or may be in a situation of gender-based violence and minors under parental
authority, guardianship and custody of female victims of gender violence.
This year a total of 93 interventions have been registered, which is approximately an increase of 50
percent on the previous period. Of these women, 10 of them requested information and advice, and
83 are part of the multidisciplinary intervention program of this municipal service, through which the
victim is assisted and also offered psychotherapeutic care programs.
There are 24 women who have accessed this program after having filed a previous complaint, and 9
of them who never have previously done so.
In the case of psychological treatment programs, 60 percent of women attended to decided to
access these rehabilitation programs, counting a total of 68 women, 18 of whom have joined this
year. Likewise, a treatment session has been started in a support group format, which has 6 women
participants, in addition to providing psychological help to 12 children.
The majority of these women are Spanish (46), followed by other nationalities: European (19), South
American (10), African (7) and Asian (1), which, in the words of the councillor, "shows that Gender
violence is something universal, which occurs in all countries of the world, regardless of the
economic situation, the level of development and the political regime of the place”.
The majority of women helped are from downtown Orihuela (39), followed by districts (25) and the
coast (19). The majority of interventions have been carried out for women between the ages of 30
and 50 (49), 22 of whom are under 30 years of age, and two of these are under 18 years of age. Of
these, 50 percent have medium-high educational levels (bachelor's degrees, training cycles or
university studies), with 63 percent of the women in a situation without resources (unemployed or
students), for which the situation of cohabitation as a couple, economic dependence and children in
common are an added handicap to getting out of an abusive situation.
The participating restaurants in international tapas day on the 30 th September
have been announced. There will be opportunity to choose different tapas and
a drink for €2.50 between the hours of 12pm and 4.30pm and 7.30pm and
The event is described as an opportunity for both residents and visitors to
enjoy the tapas tradition. Altogether 29 establishments are taking part and
must offer at least two tapas each. The day is similar to las rutas de la tapas
and is considered to be particularly attractive to the foreign residents in
Torrevieja who can explore the town’s bars and restaurants by sampling just a
little from each.
The majority of the establishments taking part are in the centre of the town.
Restaurante Las Flores Playa
Restaurante La Mata “Felisa”
Restaurante Luz de Mar
La Bodeguilla del Mullin’s
Restaurante Las Columnas
Copas & Tapas
La Cantina Food & Drinks
Namm & Gastronomic
Bar Tapería Los Zamoranos
Burger Hombre del Mar
La Marisquería de Torrevieja
Restaurante Rincón de Capis
Amura Mala Vida
Restaurante La Encina
Restaurante Bar Tapas Catalina II
Bar Casa Juani
El Rincón de las Jarras
Bar Heladería Mediodía 23
Restaurante Love Chocolate
Mesón La Huertica
Restaurante El Cortijo de Nacho
El Rincón de Sara