Home Economy How the Japanese revived the Algarve tradition of tuna fishing

How the Japanese revived the Algarve tradition of tuna fishing

Leonídio Paulo Ferreira

The frame is like an artificial reef: it catches the bluefin tuna that return from the Mediterranean, where they went to spawn, and keeps them in the fattening pools until they reach the desired quality. Tunipex, a Portuguese-Japanese project, is thus able to have high-level fish to export even to Japan. And respecting the quotas that protect the species from the risk of extinction

The hoarse of seagulls is almost deafening, but few mackerels manage to steal tuna. A wide tube expels the small fish up to a few meters in depth and, although the Algarve waters are turbid, a closer look detects the huge shapes of bluefin tuna, passing by the Guentaro Maru.

On board are some 30 fishermen, some in diving suits. Tanaka Hajime is one of those wearing black rubber, which must be scorching this summer morning, 2.5 nautical miles south of Fuzeta, off the island of Armona, which is where the Tunipex frame is anchored. The names of the boat and the diver must be giving the impression that this is a Japanese project, of that Asian country that venerates high-quality tuna in its gastronomy, to the point that worldwide auctions in the mythical market of Tsukiji, Tokyo, meanwhile closed. But if the parent company is in fact Japanese, Tunipex was born from a partnership between Portuguese and Japanese, and if, on the one hand, it uses Japanese material, on the other hand it follows the Algarve tradition of frame fishing, which had disappeared in the years of 1970, when bluefin tuna also disappeared.

Read more at Diário de Notícias.

This post is also available in: Português

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