More than 1,000 bluefin tuna have been caught during this year’s campaign and the Balearic Federation of Fishermen’s Guilds has described the catch as a "historical record” that signals the recovery of a "historical right" to fish for bluefin tuna.
Bluefin tuna quotas are dictated by the Institute for Atlantic and Mediterranean Conservation and this year the Spanish Government assigned a total of 60.4 tons to the Balearic Islands. Fishing fleets have already caught 57,600 kilos, so 95.3% of the catch has already been made. Last year they only caught 18,171 kilos.
The bluefin tuna fishing campaign lasts from April until December so it’s more seasonal and associated with cuttlefish, jonquillo or llampuga.
Experts say the increase in catches is mostly due to the new activity management system established by the Federació de Confraries de Pescadors which opted for slow management.
"We are inclined towards a system contrary to what they call Olympic fishing based on catching the maximum number possible in the shortest time," explained Federation President, Domingo Bonnín.
Manager Antoni Garau says the main objective is to be able to fish throughout the season and be able to offer a stable supply to the markets.
Promoting local commercialisation of bluefin tuna is an issue that’s still pending.
"We need a stable demand and to be sure that the local market can absorb the daily catch quantities,” said Garau.
Looking ahead to next season, Garau says he’s confident that he’ll be able to achieve a higher catch quota and maintain a fisheries diversification policy.
"The most diversified activities are the most sustainable because they help to keep fish stocks in balance," he said.
In 2007 the bluefin tuna population was extremely critical, so a recovery plan was launched and remained in force until 2018.