This year the conference pays tribute to Vicente Zaragoza Casamayor, a captain from Benidorm who for decades was in charge of the tuna fishing in Barbate.
Benidorm, protagonist of the XXI Meeting of Almadraba Captains in the town of Isla Cristina in Huelva
Benidorm and its fishermen are the protagonists of 'Arráez & Sotarráez. XXI Meeting of Captains of Almadraba' that these days are being held in the Huelva town of Isla Cristina and in whose opening the mayor Toni Pérez participated yesterday. A meeting that this year pays tribute to Vicente Zaragoza Casamayor, a Benidorm captain who for decades was in command of the Barbate Almadraba, a town where he still resides at 97 years old.
In addition to Toni Pérez, the vice president of the Huelva Provincial Council, José Manuel Zamora, participated in the opening ceremony; the acting mayor of Isla Cristina, Francisco Zamudio; and José Antonio López, president of the 'Very Noble Society of Friends of Tuna Thunnus thinnus', the organizing entity of the meeting. This event was also attended by the first deputy mayor and councilor for Historical Heritage, Ana Pellicer, and the councillor of the Presidency, Juan Díaz.
During his speech, the mayor recalled how the mastery of the people from Benidorm setting traps led the Duke of Medinaceli first and then the Duke of Medina Sidonia to require them to carry out this task in his territories. It was from the hands of the latter that the men from Benidorm arrived on the Andalusian coast to set traps in Barbate, Tarifa, Sancti Petri, Isla Cristina or others, reaching practically everything from Sicily to the coasts of the north and northwest of Africa.
After remembering that among his ancestors there were trap captains who fished in these Atlantic waters, Toni Pérez applauded the organization's initiative to honor in this edition Vicente Zaragoza Casamayor, “a true institution for us”, the last captain from Benidorm who can bear witness to the work in the almadraba and that today he will participate in the meeting, delving into art in which hundreds of Benidorm residents worked in all trades for more than 2 centuries.
The mayor thanked Isla Cristina and the 'Very Noble Society of Friends of Tuna Thunnus thinnus' for these events that have highlighted the "historical link" of Benidorm with Isla Cristina and recognized the expertise of the people of Benidorm in the art of trap fishing. Toni Pérez stressed that “in Benidorm, we are very proud of our history and where it has taken us” and alluded to the fact that the town “had one of the pillars in the almadraba to be able to raise the towers” that make up the characteristic 'skyline' of “ a tourist destination that is a leader in the Mediterranean.”
In turn, the acting mayor of Isla Cristina highlighted that "Benidorm residents are part of the roots of this town at its birth" and "also in an economic activity that for us is culture, the tuna fishing." Thus, Zamudio recalled that two captains from Benidorm were “the first to contribute funds to build the church of Los Dolores”, the oldest on Isla Cristina which has just celebrated its bicentennial.
Benidorm was also been present at this meeting led by the doctor in Hispanic Philology from the University of Alicante Francesc Xavier Llorca Ibi, who yesterday afternoon gave the conference 'The snoring of tuna: noise or blade'; and also from the photographer Jaume Fuster, who on October 9 will receive the cultural award 'Ciutat de Benidorm' and whose exhibition 'Atunes de Cianotipia' has been on display since last Monday at the CIT Garum in Isla Cristina.
The tribute and intervention of Captain Vicente Zaragoza Casamayor will be the central axis of today's day, Saturday, in which the Professor of Latin Juan M. Ruiz will remember other great captains from Benidorm in the conference 'Captains of Benidorm in La Tuta (1779-1828). Bautista Pérez, Jaime Pérez and Manuel Barceló'.