The proposal to swim among hundreds of bluefin tuna dates back to 2012. It may seem something exotic and surprising, although in this area of the Tarragona coast, in the region of the Ebro landsIt is already a small classic of active or adventure tourism. The Tuna Tour was activated again on June 19.
The experience Tuna Tour (organized by Balfegó, company specialized in fishing, aquaculture and trade of bluefin tuna) includes a trip on an 18-meter long catamaran, audiovisual projection of this world so unknown to most, a swim in the aquaculture pools located two and a half miles from the coast, in front of L’Ametlla de Mar. (Tarragona), and the tasting of some preparations made with bluefin tuna.
Once the catamaran reaches the pool, a member of the crew throws blue fish from the bow to attract the tuna. Then, participants can dive and swim among tunas measuring 2.5 meters and weighing 250 kg.
Despite the effects of the pandemic that we are still suffering, 20,000 visitors, the vast majority Spanish, are expected to participate in the activity this year. Since its launch, Tuna Tour has received more than 75,000 travelers, many of whom in past years came from France and Russia.
In 2013 it was launched Tuna Diving, a scuba dive among tuna with an oxygen bottle. This excursion, which admits a maximum of 20 divers with a companion, is carried out with two diving instructors and one more reserve. In order to participate, it is mandatory to be in possession of the Open-Water title and to have made more than 20 dives. This activity includes sailing on the catamaran, rental of a bottle and weights, as well as a guided dive and sashimi tasting.
In order to swim with the tuna, itineraries have been marked and buoys have been placed in the pools to delimit the distance between bathers.
Bluefin tuna fishing and aquaculture in the L’Ametlla de Mar area, a fishing village located south of Tarragona where about 7,000 people live, generates around 200 direct jobs and as many indirect jobs. There is the first fleet of tuna vessels in Catalonia, which maintains as a principle the capture of bluefin tuna by traditional means. The main marketing destination for tuna is the Japanese market.