Travels

Swimming with bluefin tuna in the Ebro Delta

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Ready to swim with tunas (c) tuna-tours.com

In the Ebro delta, that of swimming with dolphins seems to be not so fashionable anymore and what it takes now is to dive into a pool in the sea full of bluefin tuna.

Mediterranean bluefin tuna are huge and can reach half a ton and more than two meters in length. When I read in the agenda of the recent Travel Bloggers Meeting in Tarragona that one of the activities consisted of swim with tunas in the Mediterranean a surreal scene came to mind where friend Peter from Family guy He was preparing to perform an elaborate synchronized swimming exercise surrounded by bulls with Tchaikovsky's background music:

The reality was not exactly how the elucubrations of Peter's sleepless mind and - although this time we did not put a nose clip - I recognize that swimming with tunas was a very original and fun experience.

We move to the port of l'Ametlla de Mar in the Ebro Delta where the Tuna Tour teammates were waiting for us. We get on a catamaran and move a few kilometers to the interior of the sea where they have a series of pools for the cultivation of Mediterranean bluefin tuna. During the trip they gave us a briefing about the activity we were going to do and a good immersion in the history, biology, use and practice of bluefin tuna in the Ebro delta.

Apparently this activity is only carried out in l'Ametlla de Mar and in a town in Australia. The only difference is that the tunas that roam the Australian coast are much smaller and less impressive than the generous bluefin tuna that circulates in the Mediterranean.

Upon arriving at the mobile pools we put on the neoprene suit, we spit on the glasses and jump into the water. Although we were already in the middle of May the water was freezing. Of course, the moment I started to see those huge fish moving under my feet the thermal sensation became a subjective issue and I forgot about it.

Despite having a fearsome appearance, tunas try to avoid your body and usually keep a safe distance. That is appreciated. While someone from the company throws sardines from the catamaran, the tunas are approaching and you are looking closely as those beasts that end up in cans swim quickly in search of their prey.

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