Monday 8th November 2021 – ÁLVARO MONFORT with Mike Smith
With the disappearance of the Cala del Pope underneath the proposed extension of the harbour wall leading the local news, Moisés Erades, representing the Fishermen’s Guild, wanted to add his thoughts on the subject as well as take the opportunity to denounce the uncommunicative attitude of the Valencian administration towards the Guild over the latest work at the Club Náutico de Jávea after the renewal of its concession.
According to Erades, the Cala del Pope is not as historical as residents appear to remember, claiming that “it was artificially formed when the harbour wall was built and large amounts of gravel stone were transported from the river”. He said that it remained there for many years but after several great storms, “the sea took everything”, adding that “the historical truth is that there has never been a beach here. People in their 50s and 60s do remember it, but our ancestors didn’t know it as such”.
Erades also wanted to denounce the expansion that has place in docks 1 and 2 of the Club Náutico de Jávea and the changes to the club’s Sailing School in an area that fishermen have claimed for years (the old Penyeta Roja) in the pursuit of their business. “They have taken terrain from us by sea and by land”.
He regrets that, a few years ago, there was good communication between the Guild and the Yacht Club about the actions that were proposed and the measures that were going to be taken to discuss them to reach a favourable agreement for both parties. “Now this ‘progressive and transparent’ regional government makes decisions without consulted the affected parties and, in this case, we have found out only when we have seen the new jetties that they were for the yacht club and not the harbour.
The Guild also wanted to express its discontent with the local council. Erades said that “we have more than talked about any action that is going to be carried out in the port, that as the administrative agents that they are, they should notify us. We have had a good relationships and now they have completed closed the doors. Transparency is conspicuous by its absence and we have a right to make the call”.
The Guild is fully aware that the work is in response to the renewal of the Yacht Club concession, which had already expired and that has been extended while a series of actions are carried out that endorse such renewal. “Meanwhile, the person in charge at a regional level, Arcadi España, promised us that they would not be carried out”.
Finally, taking advantage of the complaint from Ecologistas en Acción regarding the proposal for Cala del Pope, Erades moved to deny some of the accusations that the ecologists have made against the fishermen in Xàbia, accusing them of environmental malpractice and that, he says” are “flatly false”. He vindicated the collaborative attitude of the Fishermen’s Guild against the complaints made by the ecologists “based on falsehoods and lack of information that damages the truth”.
“It is wrong to say that the fishermen of Xàbia damage the habitat and scare the cormorants because they throw their nets within 50 metres. It is also wrong to say that we disrupt the navigation of whales because our nets are set along their migration routes when, in reality, signalling buoys are placed and no nets are placed there. Ignorance is dangerous”.
“Fishermen are the first to express an interest in protecting the coastline because it provides our living. We are tired of removing nets that have become useless due to the many wipes, face masks, plastics and other waste that are caught in them. That is, indeed, a concern for the whole of society”.