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Image: Balfegó / FIS

Balfegó Successfully Concludes the 2024 Bluefin Tuna Fishing Campaign

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Friday, June 14, 2024, 07:00 (GMT + 9)

  • The fleet has caught 3,087 tons of bluefin tuna in 12 days of effective fishing.
  •  
  • This has been the first campaign that the fleet has gone fishing with the B Corp sustainability seal, achieved last March.

The fleet commanded by Grup Balfegó, led by La Frau and Tio Gel II, vessels captained by the Balfegó family, has completed the annual fishing campaign for bluefin tuna (Thunnus Thynnus) and has managed to capture the assigned quota – a total of 3,087 tons , coming from the trade agreements reached this year – in 12 days of effective fishing in the western Mediterranean.

Source: Balfegó

The fleet went to sea on May 26 and returned to port on June 13. In total, ten European purse seine vessels have participated in the campaign, two of which belong to Balfegó (La Frau Dos and Tio Gel Segon), a third flying the Spanish flag, five French and two Italian, joined by seventeen tugboats and 6 auxiliary vessels. It is estimated that the boats that tow the mobile aquaculture pools with the tunas will arrive at the L'Ametlla de Mar facilities in the next 10 days.

“We finished the campaign satisfied with capturing the assigned quota in such a short time, to which the efforts of all the crew and boats that participated in the task have contributed,” said Juan José Navarro, deputy director of Balfegó.

This has been the first campaign in which they have fished under the B Corp sustainability seal, which they have held since last March and has made us the first company in the Spanish fishing sector to achieve it. Precisely, one of the many actions or measures adopted to obtain this certification has been the “Balfegó protocol”, which they have applied during the last four fishing campaigns.

Through this protocol, at Balfegó they avoid the capture of specimens weighing less than 100 kg, even though the minimum established by legislation is 30 kg. In this sense, and according to Juanjo Navarro, deputy general director of Balfegó, “during this campaign we have verified a large number of young tunas between 30 and 60 kg as a consequence of the excellent health of the bluefin tuna stock. Consequently – Navarro adds – we have extended the fishing days a little since we have refused to capture these specimens and we have also released already enclosed individuals when we have verified that their size was smaller than desired.

Source: Balfegó

A pioneer in the bluefin tuna fishery, what we call the Balfegó protocol preserves the safety of sailors and the well-being of the specimens during capture and transfer maneuvers, which contributes to avoiding operational risks and increasing product quality ratios. In addition, it optimizes the capture, transshipment and transportation processes of tuna. All of this also translates into a palpable increase in the eco-efficiency of the fleet and a reduction in its environmental impact. In fact, the Balfegó fleet, made up of Spanish, French and Italian vessels, has only captured adult specimens with an average weight of around 140 kilos.

<-- Source: Balfegó

Balfegó also trusts in the sufficient availability of maritime fishing inspectors, professionals dependent on the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA), to expedite the entry of tunas into aquaculture facilities. Currently, these professionals continue to negotiate their working conditions with the Administration, an aspect that could hinder and even block certain tasks, such as those mentioned above, that cannot be carried out without their supervision and control, which could imply a restriction or impediment in the operation of the company.

During this campaign, after years of demonstrating absolute respect for compliance with sustainable and responsible fishing standards, Balfegó is proud to announce that we have generated around 300 direct jobs.

Source: Balfegó (Translated from the original in Spanish)

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