Our Autonomous Region has a strategic location on the coast of the Bay of Biscay. The Bay is home to one of the fishing grounds in closest proximity to our coastline. This is why Cantabria has made a decided effort in the development of its fishing activity, which now represents 26.34% of our region’s food and agriculture industry (source: ICANE, 2005).
For centuries, these lands have been characterised by their unique seafaring flavour and, there is no doubt, the locals have known how to make the best of nature’s resources.
At Conservas Lolin, we have a clear objective: to remain faithful to our seafaring tradition. This is why we have reinvented ourselves to practice sustainable fishing. As it did in the past, our inshore fleet uses traditional fishing methods which are less harmful to the sea.
The anchovy fishing season is short, but intense. It lasts from April to the month of June. Anchovy fishing is carried out at night, since this is the time when this species usually comes to the surface. For this type of fishing, the vessels usually use two ancillary boats that are trawled from the stern, one that is commonly known as "el faro" (the lighthouse) and the other "el chivato" (the informer).
When the vessel is close to the shoal of anchovies, “the lighthouse” is lit up. The light given off by this boat attracts the fish, making them come closer to the small boat. Once the shoal of fishes is stable, "the informer" helps the vessel to drop the seine net, in which the fish are finally caught.
For fishing White Tuna and yellowfin tuna fish, the method commonly known as "currican" is used; a method that uses fishing rods and live bait. It is a method that is very spectacular to watch.
White Tuna is fished from the middle of June, usually one or two tides before Saint Peter’s Day, until October. The vessels go to sea searching for the shoals of fish that have migrated to our coasts. When the fishermen reach the right spot they line up along one of the sides of the vessel with their rods.
This fishing method is performed in pairs. Whilst one fisherman baits the line and casts it, his colleague quickly removes the caught fish to ensure that it does not suffer in the process and the flesh of the fish remains completely intact. Likewise, for a larger catch, once the lure has been cast, water hoses are played over the water to make the tuna think a large shoal of fish or lures is approaching, which are a succulent food for the white tuna.
The spectacular nature and uniqueness of this type of fishing is the speed with which they work. Once the shoal of fish has been found, the sea becomes one with the vessel in a true silver wave. The toing and froing of the fishing rods is relentless.
When the vessels are smaller, “cacea” or trolling is used. This system consists of deploying some fishing tackle over the stern of the vessel. When using this method, the vessel moves at a speed of five knots and as it moves forward, the fish bite the hooks and are caught by the fishermen.