The island of Sao Miguel is an island filled with history and culture, especially from the sea. The ocean’s critical role on the island has always affected the local people and their superstitions. They say when you live on an island, you either thrive or survive. The people of Sao Miguel have a mixed history with the ocean, and fishing has always played an essential role in both the financial and diet of the local population. The Azores are located in the Mid-Atlantic ocean without any surrounding lands for hundreds of kilometers, makes the Azores a fisherman’s haven. The waters are filled with an abundance of fish and seafood that have helped sustain a healthy economy. Many fishermen have been working the seas for generations, just like their fathers or grandfathers have before them. The island has a couple of fishing villages and coastal towns that thrive on the daily fishing for the markets on the island and mainland Portugal.
Portugal is the largest consumer of fish in the European Union, and that is because the Atlantic ocean surrounds the majority of Portugal’s borders. Here in Portugal, hundreds of recipes use the fresh fish that flourish here on the North Atlantic waters. In the Azores, fishing has always been an essential sector of the economy. There are between 500-800 fishermen in the Azores, and most of the boats used are small boats under 12 meters long and go up to 24 km from the coast. The Azores is known for its big game fishing over the last few years, with many television shows coming to shot an episode fishing in this unique part of the ocean.
Fishing has been on the decline over the last 20 years in the Azores, with many younger people not interested in working out in the sea. If that trend continues, it could disrupt the local economy as much of the diet is seafood. It is so affordable because of its abundance and ease of accessibility. Many local companies on the island of Sao Miguel offer fishing tours for a minimal cost and are a great way to explore the ocean with a seasoned fisher. The weather in the North Atlantic can sometimes be erratic, with the winter months seeing less fishing due to rough seas. At this time, fish is the most expensive in the region since it is much harder to come by fresh fish.