Heraklion open market, one of the largest open markets in Crete, gives you the sense of an old mysterious open bazaar next to the sea. It is lined with shops made from locals who try to present and sell their own products. Fruit and vegetables, herbs and spices, cheese and meat as well as any kind of household products are the main core of the market. However, on the top of the market, on Karterou Street, are the fishmongers with their stalls full of fishes and mollusks. Fish is an important part of the Mediterranean diet. Over the past decade there has been a significant promotion of fish intake because of its high-quality protein and low fat content, and because it is a good source of vitamins and minerals.
Fishing was not always Crete's basic occupation mainly because of the fear against pirates’ raids. Consequently, inhabitants preferred areas close to the mountains, where they could peacefully develop agriculture and livestock farming. However, Crete is an island with a coastline exceeding 1000 Km and fishing became the traditional occupation of its people. Today, though there are still plenty of fishermen, both professional and amateur, fishing could be easily categorized as hobby.