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Hope In Spain For A Good Atlantic Albacore Season

The Bonito del Norte or Atlantic albacore tuna pole and line  fishery In Spain is one of the most traditional ones, each year taking place just before and during the summer period.  This year the season started nearly one month earlier than normal. The forecast is that boats will leave towards the port of Azores within the next fifteen days and they are planned to discharge their first tuna load late May. The objective of fishermen and owners is to compensate, with a good albacore campaign, the volume and financial losses they had in their other fisheries over the last year.

“People are anxious to go out to catch bonito because if it’s a good coastal season, it could solve matters until midsummer”, said the manager of the new Aviles auction market, Ramon Alvarez.

Several factors will be taken into consideration to determine if it was the right decision to start catches a few weeks earlier than normal.

One of the key factors will be whether the tuna schools will indeed approach at least within a hundred miles from the coast, where the pole and line fisheries operate.  If this is the case and the tuna fetches a good price at the auction than it can be said that the campaign has been profitable and successful.

Last year, the Directorate General of Fisheries accredited more than a hundred tuna pole and line vessels to participate in the albacore tuna fishing campaign.
At that time, the traditional first kilo of tuna was sold in the Aviles market at Euro 66,60 per kilo.
It was a new high since a year earlier, in 2011, when the first sales were nearly ten euros lower.
Last year’s coastal campaign was profitable for the fishermen who expect equal or better results this year. According to the Directorate General of Fisheries, from June to September 2012, Avila auctioned 829 M/T of Bonito del Norte, up by 27 percent compared to the previous season. The value was Euro 3.6 million, 8.5 percent more than the same period in 2011.
The average kilo price quoted in the market at that time was about 4.5 euros, one euro less than in 2011.  This year global prices for long line caught Pacific albacore have been at levels below USD 3,000 or Euro 2,300 per M/T, exceptionally low considering historical levels.