Andalusia – living on the coast of light
Juan Leal’s voice sounds husky when he sings Flamenco songs whilst steering his fishing boat from Conil de la Frontera into the Atlantic; songs of love and beautiful Andalusia. “It prevents me from quarrelling with my brothers” he jokes. At the crack of dawn, the three men haul morays, sea bream and gurnard on board. The catch is not very large, but Juan cannot imagine working in any other job: in his family, all of the males have been fishermen for generations.
In Tarifa, Katharina Heyer is after bigger fish. Until recently, hardly anyone knew that a population of pilot whales lived in the Straits of Gibraltar, between freighters, tankers and high-speed ferries. Swiss Katharina founded a trust, with which to research and protect the marine mammals – and promptly met with resistance. “This here is macho country”; laughs Katharina, admitting that “the woman from inland” was initially considered with a certain degree of scepticism. Today however, the natives even help her with her work. Her colleague, Eduardo Montana, enthuses: “Seeing the animals has totally changed my life”.