At what moment is Bluefin tuna at its best? When eaten between the end of May and the second to last week of June. Fished and devoured during its departure from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean.
Tuna en route to deposit their eggs have another taste; the meat holds a different color and tends toward a different consistency. Bluefin fishing opens on May 26th and closes on June 24th, according to the quotas allocated globally and divided among the countries associated with ICCAT, the International Commission for the Conservation of the Atlantic Tuna. Up until 2009, there were no quotas and everyone fished everything, to the point that the tuna was nearly added to the list of species at risk of extinction. The moratorium of 2010 and the establishment of quotas in that year narrowly avoided the worst; now the situation has changed for the better.
Nino Testa, a sailor of Ognina’s Marina near Catania, has been fishing since the age of sixteen. The 38-year-old recently told me that during a recent expedition a few days ago, they caught and released more than 30,000 tuna that were under the regimented size limit of 30 kg.
Once again, the seas are plentiful of tuna, but Nino says it will soon come time to regulate bluefish (call it poor fish, no longer!). The governmentally imposed regulations aren’t enough and with all of the tuna around, the bluefish doesn’t stand a chance!