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The Tuna War

Ever since a group of orca within the population began simply taking tuna caught from longline fishermen in the early 1990s, The Tuna War, has been happening every summer in the heart of the Strait Of Gibraltar.

Macho 20 años.jpg

Not long ago... 

Fishermen, both Spanish and Moroccan, in the Strait of Gibraltar, defended their caught treasure, bluefin tuna, with stones, using explosives, bullets and fish spears, on some occasions killing the orca

The loss of a tuna weighing hundreds of kilograms, means the loss of thousands of euros.

Young male on the deck of a fishing boat somewhere in the Strait in 2004 - (Álvaro García de los Ríos - El País)
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Female killed by a shot in the face that left her deaf, which disables cetaceans from being able to survive in the wild - 2002, Galicia -Courtesy of CEMMA

Among other factors, the hunting and killing of orcas to defend fishing, has influenced the decrease in numbers of this population, which fortunately is protected today, although there are still moments of great seriousness.

The quota for bluefin tuna has recently been extended in order to ease the existing tension.

But the competition is not over.

©Ecolocaliza en colaboración con Turmares Tarifa


Srour A. (1994) Développement de la nouvelle pêcherie artisanale au thon rouge dans la région de Ksar sghir. Note d’Information ISPM 26, 10–11.
Rafael Méndez (2007) Caza de orcas frente a Cádiz. El País.


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