hidden europe 2

Focus on fish

by Nicky Gardner

Summary

Many a coastal community, and even one or two inland spots, have realised that there's no better way to promote trade and tourism than through a colourful display of freshly landed fish and other seafood.

The reputation of fish generally took a dive when the misshapen Caliban in The Tempest was accused of being half fish. But that doesn't seem to have deterred the promoters of Europe's many fish festivals who each year showcase these mute communicators from the deep that invariably end up in our frying pans. Many a coastal community, and even one or two inland spots, have realised that there's no better way to promote trade and tourism than through a colourful display of freshly landed fish and other seafood.

No better place to start than at Ireland's Achill Island seafood festival, which this year runs from 8 to 16 July. A chance too to see some of the famous Achill yawls in action. These are the traditional wooden hulled single masted boats from Achill and the Mayo coast. They are still built at Mulranny on Clew Bay, and the first races of the annual yawl regatta coincide with the Achill seafood festival.

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