How wet do you want to get?

“Qui vol peix, que es mulli el cul” is a Catalan proverb that translates as “If you want to catch a fish, you have to get your bum wet”.  It’s a more colourful version of “No risk, no reward”.  The risk you take depends on your appetite, and your appetite depends on things such as how well you think you can manage the risk, how prepared or equipped you are to sustain the cost of failure, and what the environment is like (economic, regulatory, or even physical).

On the other side of Spain from Catalonia, you can find A Costa da Morte – The Coast of Death, a wild rocky coastline that is dangerous for shipping and for anyone who chances to get in the water.  But that is where you can find the most highly valued seafood – the “percebe” or goose barnacle (apparently it tastes like a cross between lobster, oyster, plankton and sea-water).  Those who harvest them, the “percebeiros”, have to clamber down rocks, or jump on to the rocks from boats, and then remove the barnacles  that clamp themselves to the rocks that are battered by the Atlantic waves.  The catch can sell for €300 per kilo at market and around five percebeiros die each year in performing their job.  They will all have taken a risk v. reward decision, and those without the appetite for it will have chosen to stay dry.

Sources: Diccionari de Refranys (Catalan Dictionary of Proverbs), CNN website, Daily Telegraph

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