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Blue crab, in addition to the damage the mockery of importing from Tunisia

Incredulity among insiders in Ferrara and Scardovari (RO): yet business is confirmed

10, Oct 2023

It is not true but I believe it. Unfortunately. You seem to read this uncertainty, let's call it that, in the voice of the person speaking on the other end of the phone telling the story he is experiencing as a fisherman in the area of Scardovari, Rovigo province. The blue crab is razing the economy of this area, from Scardovari to Goro, in the Ferrara area. A plague that eats clams and cultivated muscle, so much so that it will wipe out possible earnings for next year. A plague that has multiplied out of all proportion and that no one can eradicate. Yet Gian Marco Centinaio, vice president of the Senate and former minister of agriculture, admits in an interview with Porta a Porta that an importation of blue crab from Tunisia is taking place.

But how? Fishermen don't know how to eradicate the crustacean, given the reckless quantities and speed of reproduction, and Italy imports more from Tunisia? The news, which has the unbelievable, matches that of Coldiretti, which a few days ago reported that in Veneto supermarkets are finding blue crab from Greece, the region most affected by the invasion of the species.

«I can hardly believe it, but what do you want me to tell you?» disconsolately points out Vadis Paesanti, vice president of FedagriPesca Confcooperative Emilia Romagna, in charge of the fisheries and aquaculture sector. «Honestly, I have not seen on the gdo or supermarket counters the traceability of blue crab coming in from abroad. But it is a wake-up call. And anyway, we don't need competition: it's not like we get paid 10 euros for the crustacean and from Greece it comes in at, I don't know, 2 euros. To us they pay it from 0.30 cents to 1.7 Euro. Does it seem to you that we need to get it from outside? What do they gain from it?».

«To my knowledge, it is not true that there is this importation» echoes Luca Ferroni, owner with his brother Davide and sister Giuseppina of a historic fish market that is a landmark for Ferrara residents. «Also because you just have to go to Porto Garibaldi and there are tons of them, they throw them at you, the blue crabs. You certainly don't need to bring them in from Greece».

«And then - Ferroni continues – the trade they give these crustaceans to those who catch them ranges from 0.30 cents to one Euro, more or less. I resell them this morning for 4.5 Euro, but it is difficult to have a real trade with so much invoicing. On the other hand, if one goes to the canal port, Porto Garibaldi, everyone catches blue crab. But, at that point, there is no regular billing».

«And then - Ferroni adds - the sale continues to have no trade. They advertise a lot, but I used to sell crabs six years ago: the Chinese bought them for me, the locals didn't even want to see them. They are aggressive and therefore difficult to handle even to cook them. Today there is no fish market that can sell them to us traders. At the Porto Garibnaldi market maybe there are, but rarely is the trade done directly, because fiscally it becomes insecure. And there is not this great demand either, also because it is a b product, you have to put a lot of seasoning for them to be tasty».

«How can this be okay?» thunders Luigino Marchesini, president of the Scardovari Fishermen's Consortium. «If we don't even sell 10 percent of what we catch and then I also get those from Greece or Tunisia that go to further lower the cost of what I have at the market, how can it be okay? We don't have any margins, we sell the blue crabs barely earning just the out-of-pocket expenses. But what do you want - he adds - there are different interests. You have to eat it for cultural reasons, they say: right, but do we have to eat the ones from Tunisia? We don't make income from crabs, plus we suffer this real aggression».

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Scardovari, RO, Italy, 06/10/2023 10:16 am

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