Economic impact study
of the Basque Country’s tuna freezer sector

The value chain of the Basque tuna freezer sector employs 3,100 people and has an economic impact of 924 million euros in the Basque Country, according to research carried out by the Bermeo Tuna World Capital Association (BTWC), with the collaboration of the AZTI technology centre.

The analysis, based on official data for 2015, 2016 and 2017, focuses on tropical tunas belonging to the bigeye (Thunnus obesus), yellowfin (Thunnus albacares) and skipjack (Katsuwonus pelamis) species, the three species that make up the majority of the catches of the tuna freezer fleet. These species reach the consumer mainly in the form of canned tuna and light tuna.

According to the research, Basque companies in the sector generate an economic impact of 1,969 million euros per year in the world, of which 924 million have a direct impact on the BAC (448 million in fishing and 476 million in transformation).

In addition, Basque tuna freezer companies generate 29,117 direct and indirect jobs, of which 3,100 remain in the BAC, while the rest are distributed in different parts of the world.

The document, which is the first study to analyse the economic impact of the value chain of the tuna freezer sector at a state, regional and local level as a whole, was presented in Bilbao in November 2019.