The Tourist Industry
BACK IN 1936 some of us occasionally went to Fajardo, chartered a small and dirty boat, and spent the day at sea, dragging lines in the water, hauling in an occasional fish not astonishing in size, and making free with the case or two of chilled beer that we had brought with us. We called it "fishing," but we recognized the term as a euphemism. We were out to enjoy fresh air, beer, and good company--and especially to escape San Juan's tensions.
It was almost axiomatic that the fishing in Puerto Rican waters was worth nobody's time and effort. Here and there, to be sure, a few professional fishermen went to sea, and at various points along the coast one saw (and still does) men with their pants rolled up, wading in the water and skillfully tossing their graceful casting nets. But such activities did little except to offer a bare subsistence to a few. Their catches were small, of no commercial importance, and had to be disposed of very shortly after being taken out of the water. There were and are no industrialized facilities for storing, freezing or otherwise preserving, and distributing the fish. No waters in Puerto Rico's vicinity are sufficiently rich in desirable marine fauna to warrant the investment of capital in such facilities.