Aegean fish

Someone told me that the Med and Aegean is almost fished out.. how did that happen?? If they have no large fish how do fishermen make a living there then? I was looking forward to fish in Greece

Posted by Joan
Gettysburg, PA, USA
163 posts

That was a reference to large fish and should be taken with a grain of salt. You will find delicious grilled fish, fish soups and stews in Greece, along with grilled lamb, the best you'll ever taste. You should be able to buy from street vendors grilled lamb kabobs with grilled onion and tomato stuffed in a fresh pita bread and topped with a dollop of yogurt--some of the best street food in the world. Don't forget to try the spinach pies and anything with egg plant.

Posted by janet
Philadelphia, PA, USA
433 posts

Michelle, I was the one that made the reference. You have to see the big picture. There IS fish & seafood on the menu, you can find a variety ... but what I said was that large fish are scarcer than here in USA,where we can draw on ATlantic and pacific fish stocks, so prices are higher. Yes, fishermen DO make a living, but many fewer than in say, the 1960s-70s, when u would see fleets of small boats heading out in the pre-dawn. It's a phenomenon of post WW II, which you can read up on if you're historically minded. Here's what happened: WW II Ends; All European countries devastated and protein-starved. In the MEd, Greeks & Italians worst off, because Nazis systematically stripped farms of ALL livestock, in seaports took all fishing gear. (In 1943, 250,000 people in Athens alone died of Starvation). One big item left behind by Allied troops: Explosives! Medit. fishermen learned they could drop grenades, etc, in the sea & harvest "geysers" of fish. Protein for those with no meat, no eggs, no chicks! Practice was outlawed, but took years to enforce; by then, stocks of Med. fish species were so eroded, hard to come back. Then starting in 1970s, tourism increased demand for fish. Result? Fewer fish (tho just as tasty) & higher prices. Many greeks today cannot afford seafood beside octopus,squid.

Posted by Paul
Cedar, IA, USA
2371 posts

The fishing industry is certainly stressed around the Mediterranian, not only high demand, but overfishing due to the many countries bordering it to come to effective agreements, or at least to enforce what agreements are there. There are also not that many true local fisherman, or at least comparedf to what there once were. The catch varies, the occasional larger fish, but mostly small fish, anchovies, squid, cuttlefish, octopus, urchin, etc. Most commercial fishing is done on larger boats, further out, or as part of the worldwide market. As for eating, chances are that much of the seafood you will see comes through distribution as opposed off the local boat, still very fresh, very good, but maybe not as romantic. Still, you will find some of things mentioned above being caught and served local, but in smaller places, usually as part of a daily menu rather than a pre-printed permanent menu.

Posted by Sarah
Stuttgart, Germany
2012 posts

The nice thing about Greece is they have to specify what's fresh and what's frozen on their menus. Generally smaller fish tend to be local and fresh - and these are also fish that are very healthy for you. The best dish I had in Greece was just listed as "local small fish - fried". They had the heads on (gave that to the cats) but they were amazing. So were anchovies preserved in salt. I don't like really "fishy" tasting stuff bout found the anchovies and sardenes in Greece to be delicious. We had some good local larger fish as well (grilled whole) but it wasn't the bargain that the small fish was.

Posted by George
Philadelphia
653 posts

You can have fish in Greece but you'll have to pay a lot for it - especially compared to Florida. That said, you will eat very well. Enjoy the homemade wine too.

Posted by rick
Bellevue, WA
256 posts

How much it will cost for a 3 course fish dinner and a glass of wine in a local restaurant? In Athens and Fira, Santorni.
Thanks

Posted by Lee
Oregon
1637 posts

It's not possible to say with any degree of certainty since fish is sold by weight. It will depend on the size of the portion and the type of fish. Expect to pay a minimum of €25 per person but if you're in a restaurant with a view of the caldera the prices are always higher.