The cod industry under the Franco regime (1939-1975)


  • María del Carmen Espido Bello Universidad de Santiago de Compostela
  • Jesús Giráldez Rivero Universidad de Santiago de Compostela



Atlantic cod, fisheries, food, Franco regime, foreign trade


This paper studies the history of salt and dried Atlantic cod production in Spain throughout the Franco regime. Cod was a product traditionally imported into Spain, but during this period the country became one of the main producers. We first examine the cod fishing activity and the strong economic incentives deployed to promote it, the problems of setting up a specific fleet, the growth of landings and the start-up of a processing industry; then we analyze the stage of its maturity, changes in the cod fishing fleet, and the evolution of catches. Next we look at the processing industry, its production, location, size and developments. Finally, we study the Spanish foreign trade in cod and conditioning factors, with special attention given to economic policy related to the cod industry – a sector that went from producing cheap food for domestic consumption to targeting demand from outside markets.