The National Association of Tuna Freezer Vessel Shipowners (A.N.A.B.A.C.) represents the Basque tuna freezer purse-seine fleet.
It is comprised of 5 companies located in Bermeo, although the activities of the fleet are carried out several thousand miles away from this location.
Currently, a total of 28 vessels are associated to ANABAC and their activity is carried out in the tropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean (in the area of the Gulf of Guinea) and the Indian Ocean (from the East coast of Africa to the Chagos Islands). These vessels fish in the EEZs (exclusive economic zones) of the coastal countries and in high seas, since the tuna that grows in these waters is a highly migratory species and does stay localised in an specific EEZ.
The main species of tuna that the freezer fleet catches are the Yellowfin Tuna and Skipjack Tuna —which are tropical tuna in the waters of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans— with more than 60% of production allocated for export.
This fleet does not catch Atlantic bluefin tuna because that species does not live in tropical waters.
The fishing method is the seine fishing, using nets that surround the school of tuna.
Once hoisted on board, the fish are frozen by immersing them in vats of brine at a temperature of -16 degrees centigrade.
The fish are either unloaded directly to the canning factories in Africa (mainly in the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Madagascar, Seychelles, Mauritius, etc.), or transferred to the major tuna markets (Spain, Italy, Portugal, Thailand, etc.) via refrigerated merchant vessels.
Vessels only return every four years, in order to carry out a four-year major overhaul.
Txibitxiaga, 24 - Entreplanta
48370 Bermeo (Bizkaia)
Tel: 946882806 / 946880643