The Tenerife fishing fleet starts bluefin tuna campaigna product highly coveted by haute cuisine and decisive for the survival of Canarian fishing, with two specimens of more than 290 kilos. They arrived on Monday night, around 8:00 p.m., at the Port of Los Cristianosin the southern municipality of Arona, on board the ship light michaelwhose skippers are the brothers Yeray and Goyo Amaral, who are based on the Los Abrigos wharf, in Granadilla de Abona. one of the bigeyeas bluefin tunas are known in the Canary Islands, weighed 332 kilos and the other, 292.
The fishermen did not have to go far to achieve these two super catches: they fished them in front of the coast of Los Gigantes, in Santiago del Teide. Thus begins a season that will last until the more than 240 artisanal fishing vessels dedicated to bigeye tuna in the Archipelago reach this year’s quota, set by the national government at 535 tonsslightly higher than in previous years. It is a limit established to protect one of the most prestigious species on the tables of the best restaurants in the world.especially in Japan.
The high price per kilo of bluefin tuna –in the supply markets, between 35 and 55 euros– and the great demand in international circuits make this campaign the mainstay of the Tenerife fishing fleet and the most lucrative by far. In addition, the bigeye pass through the Canary Islands, in their great migrations throughout the Atlantic, with optimum weight and maturation. It counts Manuel Díaz, patron saint of Los Cristianos: “This bluefin tuna season can account for up to 90% of the income of the island’s artisanal boats in one year.”
“This bluefin tuna campaign can account for 90% of the income of the island boats”
In Los Cristianos they have a base or pass 30 of the Tenerife boats dedicated to tuna It is not easy to locate them and they are fished in an artisanal way: one by one and with a rod in which mackerel is usually used as bait. One way to find them is to look for dolphins, as Manuel Díaz recounts: «Beneath the dolphins there are usually bigeye. It is one of the ways we use to locate them.” The fisherman, who has two boats – the Young Miguelina and Diego Mar–, clarifies that you don’t have to go far to find them. “Generally we move between the waters that separate Tenerife from La Gomera and La Palma.”
Apart from its gastronomic quality, the bluefin tuna specimens –Thunnus thynnus– are part of a subspecies of incredible characteristics. Not only can they reach 3.65 meters in length and 900 kilos in weight, and live up to 40 yearsbut also that Atlantic bluefin tunas are among the fastest animals on the planet, and also among those that range over a wider area.
The bluefin or bigeye tuna is among the fastest animals on the planet
This fish reaches speeds greater than 75 kilometers per hour when it chases its prey or tries to capture it. In addition, it dives to depths greater than 900 meters. These migratory animals come to cross the Atlantic Ocean, covering a distance of more than 8,000 kilometers.
Most of the specimens caught by the Tenerife artisanal fleet are sent to international marketsmainly Europeans. «We didn’t even get to freeze them, because they are in demand as fresh as possible. We capture them, we unload them at the port with the help of cranes due to their great weight, we cut off their heads and tails, we put them in boxes with ice and they are sent immediately by plane to Madrid, Barcelona or Valencia so that they are consumed in these points or redistributed to others in Europe or the world”, details the senior patron of the Brotherhood of Los Cristianos.
The specimens caught by the Tenerife fleet are sent to international markets
Once in the kitchens, the bigeye meat is of such quality that it is usually served raw. They end up starring in international cuisine dishes such as tartare, ceviche or Japanese tataki and sashimi. In addition to their enormous commercial value, they are highly nutritious.