Come and attend the auction

  • Criée de La Turballe
5h00: My alarm clock rings. I’m really not motivated to cut short my floundering about in bed... But I've been told that is really worth effort. So I pull on my jeans and my trainers : off I go for what promises to be an unusual outing !

Outside it's still dark, the town slumbers still, silence reigns in the streets. When I arrive at the port the hustle-bustle that meets me confirms that others have got up much earlier than me. In front of the auction hall Marie our guide from La Maison de la Pêche warmly greets the 15 'early birds' that we are....

Our tour begins; we’re totally fascinated as the boats are loaded with tonnes of ice before our very eyes. Off we go to the 'Criée', or 'centre marée' (auction hall), the very heart of the port of La Turballe !

We’re met by a strange sight: a low level hubbub, deep concentration written on every face, their eyes riveted on their screens, watching...like hawks...the price of fish. I almost feel a bit disappointed... No one is shouting out the prices... ('Criée' comes from the verb 'crier': to shout of).
How things have changed.... Nowadays each fish wholesaler is equipped with a little hand-held electronic gadget, and is ready at any moment, thanks to this, to buy hake, skate wings, sea bass and other fish caught that very night. Thank goodness Marie is on hand to explain the meaning of all these codes we see flash before our eyes, without her I think we would have been totally lost !

The sale of the various lots follow-on one after the other at breakneck speed. A man places a bill of sale in the crates of fish so that at the end of it all wholesaler and fishes can be reunited. Gradually the crates of fish disappear, stocks dwindle and the auction hall empties of people.
The hubbub and the noise of pallet trucks give way to silence. The fish is loaded into lorries, there’s no time to lose: every minute counts, the merchandise must be delivered quickly.

When we get outside the sun is rising over the port. The café owners are setting up the tables and chairs on their terraces. We’re a bit disorientated... Things seem to have gone by so quickly... Like a voyage into another world. We’ve been totally immersed in the universe of the fishing industry, this unmistakably important daily routine of a coastline area, which goes on everyday behind closed doors, whilst the rest of us are fast sleep. We’ve been really privileged to witness it at first hand 'live' !

Time for a nice strong cup of coffee in the light of the first rays of the rising sun, our gaze turned towards the open ocean. One thing is sure: this afternoon we might just take a little nap on the beach !
FaresDates Min Max
Adult6.00€
Enfant (de 3 à 12 ans)4.00€
  • Reservations required
  • Duration : 1h15
  • Every Friday during the school holidays at 5:45 am
  • In July and August, the visits take place on Wednesday, on Thursday and Friday at 5:45 am
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GPS coordinates
Latitude : 47.34790
Longitude : -2.51243
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Contact
La Maison de la Pêche
Port de La Turballe
Centre de marée
44420
LA TURBALLE
Phone : +33 2 40 11 71 31