Almadraba

Almadraba in Spanish (Italian: Mattanza and Portuguese: Almadrava) is a word of Al-Andalus Arabic origin المضربة almaḍraba : 'a place to strike' < Arabic root ضرب 'to strike, hit'. It is an elaborate and age-old Phoenician technique for trapping and catching Atlantic bluefin tuna that was learned and taken to areas such as Iberia during Iberia's Islamic period.[1]

La pêche du thon in Sicily ("Tuna Fishing")
etching by Jean-Pierre Houël, 1782.

The technique is to trap and catch the tuna when they are crossing between the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean during February to July, on their way to spawn and until recently, on its return journey, ("al revés") when they come back into the Atlantic Ocean,; the bycatch contains, among others, bullet tuna (Auxis rochei), little tunny (Euthynnus alletteratus), Atlantic bonito (Sarda sarda), bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus) and swordfish (Xiphias gladius).

It is a traditional form of tuna fishing or netting fence to catch tuna that is carried out in Italy (Mainly in Sicily and Sardinia), Morocco, Portugal (Mainly in the Algarve) and Spain (Mainly Andalusia, Murcia and Valencia).[2][3]

A similar technique exists in Sicily known as mattanza (a borrowing from the Spanish word matanza, meaning slaughter), introduced either by the Moors during Sicily's own Islamic period or by the Spanish afterwards.

In filmEdit

See alsoEdit

 
Graveyard of Anchors on Tavira island which were used in the Almadrava

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Las almadrabes y Chiclana".
  2. ^ almadraba Diccionario de la lengua española, Vigésima segunda edición, Real Academia Española, 2001. (in Spanish)
  3. ^ "THE FUTURE OF THE ALMADRABA SECTOR – TRADITIONAL TUNA FISHING METHODS IN THE EU - PDF" (PDF). Retrieved 30 May 2017.