Arroyabe Bonito Tunaarroyabe tuna

Producer: Conservas la Gaviota
Region: Pays Basque, Spain
Employees: approximately 60

The Bonito del Norte, named scientifically Thunnus Alalunga, or White Tuna is one of the most highly developed within the tuna family. They are warm-blooded, and flourish in the oceans of tropical, subtropical, and temperate climates.

The Atlantic White Tuna carries out two migrations in its lifetime that are easily differentiated by its stage of maturity. The young fish spend the winter in the waters near the Azores. At the end of the spring they migrate in search of food, reaching as far as the waters of the Bay of Biscay, off the coast of Spain, where they remain until the Autumn when they return towards their places of origin. Fishing Bonito has historically been one of the main economic incomes for the local fishermen, who work the waters off the coast of Spain from June till October.

Conservas la Gaviota, S.L., is a family owned business, located in Bermeo, a small well-established fishing port in the Basque Region of Northern Spain. They produce canned and salted fish products, backed by more than 100 years of experience and tradition in processing fish.

The company purchases their fish fresh each morning from the local fisherman who use rods and live bait, the most selective and environmentally sensitive method, and one that also ensures the highest quality product. The boats only fish for 2 weeks at a time before returning to port, allowing them to deliver fresh fish to the canneries. Much of the canning process is still done by hand, to ensure the highest quality product. And no chemical preservatives, coloring, or other additives are used at any point during the process.

Conservas la Gaviota employs over 60 people from the surrounding communities, an area that has historically sustained itself through the fishing industry. Over 85% of their employees are women, and wages are set using a local collective agreement, with the lowest paying job paying double the minimum wage set by the government.

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