Landing 100+ kg bluefin tuna in the the Almadraba, an ancient method of catching tuna in nets as they migrate from the Atlantic Ocean into the Mediterranean to breed.
There are four Almadrabas with a total annual quota of 1,340mT combined. Gadira owns three of them with a total quota of 970mT for 2019. 30 kg is the international legal size minimum (5 years old), Almadraba 90kg min. size, average 200kg. Almadraba net has holes 1-1.2m., to let the small fish pass through the net. There are perhaps 10km total of nets in Almadraba labyrinth moored with a network of 400 anchors in 30M of water.
The four Almadraba employ about 500 families. Each almadraba season requires 2 months of prep for 4-6 weeks of fishing followed by 2 months of repairs every year.
Beginning in the 1990s there was an understanding that the Atlantic bluefin tuna were being overfished. A meeting in Sevilla in 2005 set a quota of 36kmT Atlantic bluefin and pledged to stop illegal fishing estimated at 60-70mT, along with a ban on aerial scouting and a minimum harvest size of 30kg worldwide.
Global quota is still at 36kmT in 2019, but illegal fishing has been diminished, and tuna have become more abundant. With hundred of years of fishing in the same spot with passive methods, Almadraba catches are a useful method for scientists to gauge the health of the tuna population. 4.1% of global Atlantic bluefin tuna are caught by Almadraba.
- ©2019 George Steinmetz
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