Data loading...

Almadraba Fishermen Free 600 Captured Live Tuna

Last week, Almadraba fishermen from Tarifa, south of Spain, released the approximately 600 live tuna which they continued to hold on to despite the orders received from their company to free them given they had exhausted the allocated quota.

This happening officially ended the drift net (Almadraba) season in Tarifa, Spain, where 207 tons were harvested.

The trap nets were lifted and the fish continued their journey through the Mediterranean for their spawning, while a helicopter inspected the release and divers verified the tuna’s swimming away.

"This has been very hard for the fishermen. We will regret having to release the tuna because things could change next year and we may not have sufficient catch” said the president of Organization of Almadraba Producers (OPP), Diego Crespo. In 2006, Tarifa trap netters only caught 80 tons, barely 400 fish, because of the scarce resources in the ocean. This year, however, there was insufficient quota despite the abundant fish.

Fishermen base their argument on this fact. “The fishing limitations are actually put into practice by nature itself.  Last year the quota was 1.450 tons and only 1.150 tons were caught.

Crespo continued: "It’s a very despairing situation because it has been quite a good year as far as fish is concerned, however the assigned quota of only 1.088 tons does not allow us to fish more. We caught the same amount as last year but this year’s prices are much lower, the fall has been dramatic," he said. In 2008 there was a "small profit" because of the better prices reached that year.

“We are fighting to  increase this ridiculous quota. I think we the Almadraba is in great danger of extinction”. Over the past 20 years the Almadrabas from Atunara, Estepona, Bologna and Ceuta have disappeared.

In addition, fishermen are complaining of not receiving aid like other sectors have received from Europe. Crespo is hopeful that the Board of Andalusia with change this and believes that within two or three months there may be an amendment to the  law that prevents them from receiving aid.