For the elaboration of all our preserves "Conservas Serrats", we only use fish that have been caught using traditional fishing techniques.
The capture of White Tuna (Albacore) began centuries ago, when small fishing boats from the Bay of Biscay set out to sea to catch them. They fished using the traditional art of trolling (fishing techniques using a hook).
Traditionally this was the most utilized method of fishermen from northern Spain, until recently where live bait has become more commonly used.
While the fishing fleets from Galicia and Asturias primarily fish using the trolling technique, the Basque and Cantabrian fleets use live bait. These are two traditional arts that utilize a rod and line. This means that White Tuna (Albacore) are caught individually, permitting the selection of the best specimens possible.
Additionally, these techniques prevent the accidental capture of other species of fish and are friendly to the oceans ecosystem, particularly compared to fishing techniques that are not selective in their capture.
The White Tuna (Albacore) fishing occurs during the fishing season from June until October, when they are at their best point to be caught and consumed. During these months, the fishing fleets are concentrated in the Gulf of Biscay, where the most important and largest grouping of White Tuna (Albacore) occurs.
This is the oldest type of fishing utilized by the Basque fleet. Here's how it works: the fishing ships use outriggers to let out multiple fishing lines on both sides of the ship. The white tuna (albacore) follow the wake created by the bait and attempt to eat the bait and hook. They are then reeled in.
More tuna are caught but require a larger crew to operate.
The boats have to capture the bait they are going to use first (typically anchovies or mackerel) and keep them alive in saltwater tanks aboard the boats. After locating a school of tuna fish, the boat sails over the top of it. The fishermen then release the bait next to the boat along with streams of water to make the area appear to be "boiling" with the quantity of bait. It also hides the fishermen and the fishing lines they release along with the bait. The tuna become excited by the quantity of food and approach the bait and get caught.
Once caught, the fish are clubbed over the head and are stored in between sheets of ice while they are quickly transported to the port.