albacore tuna from Hondarribia (Spain)
Facts & Figures
“A fisherman’s life revolves around superstition!”
Welcome to the Basque Country! It’s home to Oskar Etxebeste Larruskain, who’s been fishing for the finest albacore tuna for 28 years. He and his crew of fifteen go out to sea 180 days a year, mainly during the warmer months. Like any seaman worth his salt, Oskar is extremely superstitious. “Before I set off in my boat, I always kiss my wedding ring for good luck.” Family is extremely important to Oskar as is sustainable fishing. “My son’s still young, but I’d like him to be able to fish for tuna if he wants to! I only want the best for my family, now and in the future!”
A good catch
The tuna fishers of Hondarribia catch their fish – only tuna, and only one at a time – using pole and line.
The proud tradition of Hondarribia
Hondarribia is a colorful town in the Basque Country, just across the border from France. Many of the fishermen here have dedicated their lives to tuna fishing. They’re proud of what they do and passionate about quality. That’s why Oskar and his crew keep their time bobbing about the Bay of Biscay to a minimum, so they can land their catch as fresh as possible. The albacore is caught one fish at a time using pole and line!
Tuna, and especially white tuna, has traditionally been the star of local Basque cooking. Sometimes lovingly nicknamed “bonito”, it’s a mainstay of many restaurant menus. It’s delicious fresh, but the canned variety is in no way inferior and tastes just as good!
As you’d expect, albacore or white tuna has paler flesh than skipjack and yellowfin. While not big in size, it’s definitely big on flavor. And because this predator feeds mainly on sardines and anchovies, it’s also packed full of omega 3 fatty acids. Delicious, healthy, and sustainable all in one!