Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Tons of mussels coming out of the water at Getares

ALGECIRAS (Source: Europa Sur) The waters just beyond the beach at Getares contain some 15 skiffs that are used for collecting mussels from the sea bed. Mejillones de Andalucía, the company that owns and runs them, announced recently that it would be selling the mussels in tins all over Europe. The president of the company, Juan Antonio Gallardo, said that canning trials had been very satisfactory and his company is hoping for a bumper crop this year of 600 tons, which is excellent compared to the 400 of last year. Canning is to take place in Galicia, as there is no facility with the right capacity any nearer. (Once upon a time, there were several sardine canning factories in Algeciras).>>>
Mussels produced in these waters are of good quality, according to Gallardo, and are sold fresh outside the area, also because of a lack of facilities for proper cleaning. Every week, between 18,000 and 20,000 kilos of mussels are transported to Galicia, Valencia and Catalonia, and even to Puerto de Santa María, a haven of good seafood, famous all over the world. However, much of the production, cleaned and canned, returns to the Campo de Gibraltar inside a tin.

Mejillones de Andalucía has already sought permits and licences to carry out the entire process locally, with a plant at Palmones, in order to give added value to their product, and thus keep the benefits in this area.

Other products that lack their own processing plants include oranges, avocados and citrus in general, and cork. As for the former, practically all the harvests are taken to other areas, such as Valencia, where the oranges are often sold on as 'Valencian', when in fact they come from the middle reaches of the Guadiaro River.

Cork, once the mainstay of local economies, is transported mainly to Portugal, where it is processed for use not only in the wine industries, but for other industrial processes as well. Until about 15 years ago, there were several plants in Jimena and Los Barrios, but they have gradually closed down, causing considerable loss of employment. (See How Did That Cork Get in Your Bottle?)

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