Albacore “Bonito del Norte”
White Tuna (also known as Bonito del Norte) are born in the Sargasso Sea, a place where adult tuna migrate to lay their eggs in the spring. After their first year of life when they reach 30-40 cm in length, they begin their migration from their birthplace to the waters of the East between the Azores, Madeira, and the Canary Islands where they spend the winter. During the second year and coinciding with the end of spring, the schools migrate in search of food along the surface, reaching the Bay of Biscay. They pursue schools of other smaller fish that they feed off of such as anchovies and sardines and remain along our shores until autumn when they begin their return to their place of origin.
It is in these waters where our fleet fishes the tuna which lasts from late June to early November.
Fishing with live bait
The Bonito del Norte White Tuna is caught in the Bay of Biscay in the traditional manner using live bait with just a pole, line, and hook which is different than trolling with live bait. In the case of live bait fishing, the vessels are stopped and have poles set up all around the boat which are handled by the fishermen. The school of fish approaches the live bait, usually anchovies, and when they bite, the fishermen reel them in one by one, enabling them to select the best quality fish individually.
The trolling method of fishing consists of a boat that is in motion that has deployed several rods with artificial bait and when the tuna bite, they reel them in and bring them aboard.
This method is sustainable because it does not involve incidental catch of other species or deteriorate the seabed. It also allows for the tuna caught to be selected according to the minimum length rules.
Optimal freshness conditions
To ensure maximum freshness once caught, the tuna are placed in water at zero degrees centigrade for five hours. After that time they are stacked with ice and left in the freezer between zero and minus two degrees. This process guarantees the quality and freshness of the Bonito del Norte White Tuna.