When we fish

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We want to go fishing every day, but the sea and the wind have the final say

Artisanal fishing in Gran Canaria takes place all year round. The seasonal fishing periods, in general terms, comes up simultaneously in every fishing area although there are minor variations depending on the species to capture, the allowed periods of time when the use of a certain gear is allowed, weather and sea conditions.

Regarding climate and oceanographic conditions, there are sound differences between certain fishing areas. Wind mainly, but also preeminent currents, will determine the amount of fishing days per year in each area besides the use of specific gears. San Cristobal and Melenara enjoy the most benign climatic conditions in the island, which allow over 330 fishing days per year, followed by Arguineguin and Mogan (known as the “sea of calms”) with an average of 225 fishing days per year. On the contrary, the northern coast suffers from poorer weather conditions, so the winter gales would prevent the fleet from going out in the sea for weeks, resulting in an average of 200 fishing days per year.

The fisheries exploited recurrently every year are called zafras (expression that could loosely be translated as “season”) and are planned according to the peak moment for the capture of each species. Each zafra present different fishing strategies according to which each species targeted and gears used are under the command of a skipper on a shift basis.

It is worth noting the tuna season, as the fishing journeys expand over several days when the fishing is a non-stop only interrupted by the need to capture more of the needed natural bait (mainly mackerel).

Tuna lives in high seas, migrating closer to the coast seasonally forming large stocks, being this the time when the catches are made depending on the species, this is January to March for Bigeye tuna, May to Setember for Skipjack tuna, and two periods (January to February and May to September) for Yellowfin and Albacore.