Wine and tuna in a colorful fishing village

Facts & figures

Albacore tuna
2018
Hondarribia, Spain
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Hondarribia

The city centre of Hondarribia is relatively quiet compared with the neighboring fishing district. A lot is happening over there - not only because it’s bursting with wine- and pintxo bars, but also because the area is close to the harbor. From there the local tuna fishermen ship out to the Bay of Biscay for about 180 days per year.

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Many of the local fishermen have been working in tuna fishing for most of their lives. Especially during the warmer months, they go out to sea. The catch goes straight into the cool cargo hold, so they arrive as fresh as possible. This is also the reason why they don’t fish for long periods of time. They consciously care for the tuna, from the moment it bites, to the moment it’s on the counter at the fish market. This way the tuna stock remains healthy and the fishermen keep enjoying their work.

Fishing method

The tuna fishermen in Hondarribia fish with a pole and line. One at a time, fish by fish.

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The great way about fishing using traditional methods is that only tuna is being caught. There’s no bycatch nor damage to the environment - and because you need quite a lot of fishermen for this method, it creates jobs and can provide for small coastal communities.

Rich history

The colorful fishing village of Hondarribia is just below the French border in Spanish Basque Country at the Bay of Biscay. The tuna is a culinary favorite and takes up a main role in the local cuisine. The village itself has a rich history with many medieval buildings. The population consists of about 15,000 people.

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Albacore tuna

The albacore- or white tuna is – you guessed it – much lighter in color than the rest of his family. It’s not a big fish, but it makes up for it in nutritional value: because the albacore tuna only eats sardines and anchovies, it’s packed with omega 3 fatty acids. A true guilt-free pleasure.

"The best moment of the day, is when I come home to my family"

Family is important to tuna fisherman Oskar. That’s why he’s very happy when he gets good value for his fish and a stable income, so he can provide for his family. If his son will follow in his footsteps? “He’s only six years old, but who knows. I want to, at least, make this possible for him and that’s why I fish fair.’

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