Funchal, Madeira (PT)
The Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus) is a pelagic fish that can grow up to 500kg (1000lb). The biggest Bluefin Tuna ever caught was 780kg (1496lb). These great fighters can be caught trolling, jigging, casting or drifting; mainly off-shore.
For Ernest Hemingway the Bluefin Tuna is “The king of all fish”. They are prized among sport fishers for their fight and speed.
Overfishing has pushed the Atlantic bluefin populations to the brink of extinction.
The three species of bluefin—the Atlantic, Pacific, and southern—have divided the world’s oceans among themselves, and they roam all planetary seas except the polar.
Among the best bluefin tuna fishing destinations are Nova Scotia, Madeira, Canary Islands, the Strait of Gibraltar, Ebro Delta and Balearic Islands in Spain, Sicily, Sardinia, Italy and Australia.
Bluefin tuna and humanity have had an intense relationship from more than 5000 years. Japanese fishermen have been fishing for Pacific bluefin for more than 5,000 years.
Stone Age paintings of bluefin tuna have been found in Sicily. Ancient Mediterranean cultures such as the Phoenician, Carthaginian, Greek or Roman cultures have been hunting for them from the Gibraltar Straits to the Bosporus.
Bluefin tuna have been eaten by humans for centuries: marmitako, the fermented fish sauce called Garum used by rich romans and greeks as a condiment in the cuisines, sushi, sashimi...