Fisherman's Guild of San Pedro

Cofradía

The Fisherman’s Guild of San Pedro brings together ‘arrantzales’ (fishermen) who operate in the Hondarribian fishing fleet.

It is an institution dating back to the year 1361 (c. XIV). Previously, there had been a lot of fishing activity, although it is only in this year when the guild was officially recognised by the authorities at the time of the first ordinance in 1566.

Historically it was governed by a board that was made up of the Senior Abbott, two mayors or consuls of the sea, three junior mayors and a secretary or butler.

It is a non-profit organization serving the fishermen. The guild works so that the fishermen are as well prepared as possible for their hard work, bringing together the interests and needs of this group.

On the guild’s premises the tasks of unloading and auctioning of fish as well as the supply of ice, diesel and other port services are performed or provided. The type of fishing is inshore/craft.

Hondarribia is a port with a strong link to bonito fishery. In fact, its current fleet is organised for catching it through 16 fishing grounds dedicated to fishing bluefin tuna and bonito with live bait rod; that is to say, one at a time; although the currican is also used.

In the early 1990s, with a fishing fleet of about 60 boats and over 500 fishermen, 8,000 tonnes of fish landed annually on the city’s docks. Currently, the fleet consists of 24 vessels, 16 purse-seine and 9 minor gear vessels, that dedicate their activity to the fishing of bluefin, bonito tuna, anchovies, mackerel, sardines and mackerel.

The guild maintains the following traditions that are held annually:

Feast of St. Peter the Apostle (June 29)

Every year on June 29, the members that make up the General Assembly and the board, attend a procession from the Arch of the ‘Brotherhood of Fishermen’ to the Church of Hondarribia, where in the sacristy, elections are held each year to fill the offices of the board. Today that tradition continues and board elections are held every four years at the headquarters of the Brotherhood.

Feast of Our Lady of Carmen (July 16)

A maritime procession in which a likeness of the Virgin of Carmen is transported aboard one of the boats of the brotherhood, from the port of Hondarribia to the bay. There is placed a wreath for those sailors who dissappeared on the high sea.

Feast of St. James the Apostle (July 25)

Every year, on the day of Santiago, July 25; the annual inventory of the guild is made; by reading a summary before the authorities in the sacristy of the parish.

A young women, a daughter of one of the fisherman, wearing a colourful shawl worn over her head, carries from the main office to the church, the venerable chest (kutxa) that contains ancient documents and accounts of the Brotherhood. On her return, and opposite to the entrance of the venue, the beautiful hondarribiarra, turns on her heels several times with the heavy load on her head. It is a ritual dance that has been repeated for centuries.

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