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The Almadraba is a traditional method of fishing for tuna during their migration towards the Mediterranean and in their return towards the Atlantic Ocean dating back to the time of the Phoenicians. In the province of Cadiz there are six almadrabas: four to catch the tuna on their way to the Mediterranean (almadrabas de derecho), Conil (Punta Atalaya), Barbate (Ensenada), Zahara de los Atunes (Cabo Plata) and Tarifa (Plava de los Lances) and two for their return trip to the Atlantic (almadrabas de retorno), La Linea (Playa de la Atunara) and Barbate (Ensenada). Many years ago there were also almadrabas in Rota and in Cadiz.
The fishing season for the almadrabas “de derecho” starts in the sprinq and ends at the beginning of the summer and for those “de retorno it starts at the end of the summer and finishes in the autumn.
The almadraba is made up of fixed nets that take longer than a month and a half to set up, using approximately 600 anchors weighing more than 400 Kg. The tuna in their passage south (or north) find their path blocked by the rabera” (barrier net) of the almadraba. In their attempts to escape they enter via a funnel (la boca) into the “cuadra” (the ho/ding net), which is made up of several pens the last of which is the “copo”. The “copo” is the only pen with a horizontal net and is used for the capture ofthe tuna. When divers acknowledge the existence of tuna in the “copo” the net is raised and the fishermen haul the tuna out with hooks and later transport the fish to port in boats called “faluchos” The almadrabas, along with the industry that is generated around it, is one ofthe main sources of income in the area.