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500 Coastal Vessels Set To Target Atlantic Albacore Tuna

Approximately 500 vessels of the Cantabrian coastal and artisanal fleets are authorized to join -as of June 11th- the Northern Atlantic albacore (Bonito del Norte) tuna fishing season.
This is the start of one of Northern Spain's most important campaigns. The albacore tuna auctions have represented a significant event during the past several years due to the top prices obtained by the first unloadings.
The first auctions are expected to take place mid June.
The record price was set on June 9th 2008, when the first albacore tuna landed in the Spanish ports of Aviles and Laredo, by the vessels 'Esmeralda Tercero' and 'Tonin' fetched Euro 35 per kg, or Usd 45,000 p/MT !
Nevertheless, prices stabilized several days later. Last year, Aviles officials shut down the coastal fishery in October, after auctioning slightly under 860,000 kg of albacore tuna at an average price of Euro 3.7 per kg or Usd 5180 p/MT.
The 2008 published data indicates that the first wholesales of albacore tuna reached revenue of  Euro 3.16 million.
Meanwhile, for Basque fishers, the lean catches of albacore tuna obtained as of the second fortnight of August and September 2008 turned the fishing season into the worst of the last five years.
The coastal fleet of Gipuzcoa and Biscay captured 25 per cent less Bonito del Norte than in 2007 -  a total of about 6 million kg - and registered a 20 percent loss in estimated revenue.
The Council of the Sea of Galicia disclosed that the ships Irmans Garcia Nodal and Sebastian de Ocampo will accompany the fleet and provide sanitary assistance to the 150 Galician-port-based vessels targeting coastal albacore tuna.
The two vessels, which will set sail along with the tuna fleet, will relieve each other during the length of the fishing season until August 30th. They will carry equipment, mechanics and technicians on board, on call to solve possible incidents; as well as medical and policing personnel.