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Bluefin tuna, the taste of Cadiz in springtime

Bluefin tuna, the taste of Cadiz in springtime

Atún rojo de almadraba

"Almadraba" Atlantic bluefin tuna is one of the most coveted products in the world of gastronomy and it is fished on the Cadiz coast following traditional methods. 

La Almadraba

Although it is highly prized food, the imprint that the fishing activity leaves on the towns is deeper than we could ever imagine.

"Almadraba", or trap fishing, is an ancient technique that dates back to Phoenician times, and has evolved over the centuries. The current technique consists of a complex labyrinth of vertical nets, marked with buoys and attached to the seabed with anchors and wires. The main parts of this complex system are the "raberas", or labyrinthine nets, which guide the tuna, and the frame, where they are actually caught.

Pesca del Atún de la Almadraba

Atlantic bluefin tuna are caught in an area called "copo". This is the only space in the trap that has a horizontal net at the bottom, which rises in what is known as the "levantá". From "la sacada", one of the four main boats located in the "copo", the captain gives the order to raise the lower net just at the right moment, the brief space between high and low tide, the moment when the water is calmer and the work is easier.

Catching Atlantic bluefin tuna is quite an experience for the fishermen, a hand-to-hand combat between man and tuna that has been recorded in historic chronicles as a real battle. Although today the technique is much less violent, it is still an arduous and dangerous task.

Atlantic bluefin tuna is an exclusive product with a flavour and texture that is unique in the world.

For many years, the production of Atlantic bluefin tuna was mostly aimed at the Japanese market, where it is highly valued. The Japanese have influenced the fishing, the selection and the way of consuming bluefin tuna. For example, in the past, tuna was almost always eaten cooked, but today it has become popular raw, in the form of sushi or sashimi.

"Almadraba" fishing is a very important activity in the economy of the area, but also in its culture and tradition. The towns of the Cadiz coast have always lived off fishing and the "almadraba" is one of their hallmarks. "Almadraba" bluefin tuna fishing is a way of life that has been passed down from generation to generation and is part of the cultural heritage of the region.

Bluefin tuna, the taste of Cadiz in springtime
Barbate, Conil de la Frontera, Zahara de los Atunes (Cádiz)