Portugal – Fishing Street Art

As a country that eats so much fish it is hardly surprising to find so much aquatic street art.

People in Portugal eat more fish than any other in mainland Europe, fifty-seven  kilograms per head per year which is like eating your way through an average sized cod or tuna,  Norway is second, Spain third and then France and Finland.

Beyond mainland Europe, Icelanders eat more fish than anyone else in the World at an average of ninety kilograms per person which is two average sized cod or tuna or a medium sized shark.

In the UK we like to think of ourselves as fish eaters and we voted to leave Europe on the basis of getting our fishing fleets back but we only eat cod or haddock or anything else from the same genus ( hake, colin, pollack etc.)  and on average we eat a miserly fifteen kilograms per person per year.

Staying in mainland Europe, those who eat least fish are Albanians at only five kilograms followed by people from Serbia and North Macedonia and what is surprising is that none of these are really that far from the sea.

The most poplar fish in Portugal is Tuna ( I was surprised by that) followed by cod, sardines, squid and mackerel.  The most popular fish in the UK is cod and in the USA it is prawns (shrimp), Canada and in Australia it is salmon; in France it is sea bass and in Spain hake.  The most popular Christmas Day meal in Australia is prawns (shrimp) Throw another prawn on the Barbie Bruce.

All of these obscure facts are worth jotting down and remembering if you are in a pub quiz team.

To be fair a lot of Australia, Canada and the USA is a long way from the sea.  Not surprising then that the United States accounts for 30% of the World consumption of canned Tuna.

At only one hundred and fifteen miles Miranda do Douro on the Spanish border is the Portuguese town furthest from the sea.   In the USA Lebanon in Kansas (the geographical centre of the country) is six hundred miles from the Gulf of Mexico, in Canada Calgary is three hundred miles from the Pacific Ocean and in Australia Alice Springs is about five hundred miles from the Gulf of Carpentaria so I guess the supply of fresh fish from the coast can sometimes be a bit of a logistical problem.



35 responses to “Portugal – Fishing Street Art

  1. . . . we have lots of lakes and rivers . . . avid fishermen abound. I used to fish, but I can’t be bothered.

    . . . I’m partial to canned sardines and mackerel. I’ll take tuna if that’s all we have, but my preferred fish is Ono (Hawaii), Whitefish (great lakes), Lake Perch and Walleye (many places), and Halibut (Costco). We regularly have Salmon and Tilapia, which are reasonably priced and always available. Most restaurants have cod.

    But, you’re probably right about not as much fish eaten here as in other places . . . I know many more meat-eaters than people who prefer fish.


  2. Fabulous photos! Are these all from your most recent trip?


  3. I’ve more or less given up meat and eat just fish. Given the chance I would eat more fish.


  4. Wow, those are a lot of fish facts! And great fish art! I don’t see South Africa on the list – and I’m not surprised … apparently, 89% of South Africans are meat eaters 😉. I remember the fish dishes we had in Portugal and can only say that if our fish tasted more like those in Portugal (or prepared in the same way), we probably would eat more fish!


  5. Going to a fish market on the continent is a real education isn’t it? I see stuff I have no idea about gazing balefully up at me. When we were in North Macedonia earlier this year, the fishermen of Lake Prespa were busily plying their trade. Though I think these days it’s only a part-time occupation. Eating fish these days has become a minefield though, what with Sustainability Issues. I was brought up on mackerel and herring, which I still enjoy, but I gather that mackerel at least is no longer a sustainable choice.


  6. I like your gallery but I hate pub quizzes

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yep as in some other countries in Europe, its all about fishes and the sea ::)


  8. Fabulous fish statistics Andrew. You’d think in Cornwall we’d eat a lot of fish, but most of it is exported (or sent to London for the big posh restaurants) and it is still very expensive. Personally I love Hake and will buy it if I see it on the menu, but cod, mussels, prawns, salmon are also favourites. I draw the line at flat fish like turbot as I hate all the fine bones.


  9. I’m rarely disappointed by your factual posts, Andrew!


  10. It’s true, getting fresh fish in Calgary was never easy. I once had a freshly caught salmon flown in from Vancouver for a barbeque. It was delicious.


  11. Now I need fish and chips!


  12. I don’t eat fish but I can appreciate the art!


  13. Yeah, I’m really surprised that both in Ireland and the UK these numbers are not high, considering that in the past, islanders lived from the sea on a decent scale. On the flipside – Western cultures and trends are not steering anywhere near healthy food, especially seafood, and both countries have been highly influenced by “industrial” food pyramids 😁

    Last time we were in PT, we decided to go for their widely available Bacalhau. We weren’t expecting how much effort is needed to get that bloody salt off the fish before we could start cooking it 😉

    Btw, when you mentioned average sized cod, it reminded me that back in Poland we use to eat a Baltic Sea Cod, which in theory is the same Atlantic Cod, but significantly smaller. So the sizing would be a massive discrepancy here. Especially that average Baltic Cod was about 40cm in the early 90s. Now it’s as small on average as 20cm, so not only on the verge of extinction but shrunk in size adapting to environment (less food, more pollution etc.).

    Lovely write up. Thanks for sharing. Need to plan next trip to Portugal, we miss it a lot.


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