I had personally experienced the previous downfall of bluefin tuna at close quarters. It was a cool spring morning in the mid 1990s. A nautical mile and a half away was the deserted Zahara de los Atunes, where it all started, this affair with bluefin tuna. The first warm sunbeams had cast a clear morning light on the tuna palace of the dukes of Medina Sidonia onshore. The dilapidated walls stood out sharply against the new hotels and apartments which had mushroomed in recent years on the edge of the long beach. On the corner, invisible behind the dune with its green pine trees lay the excavation of Baelo Claudia with its ancient salting pits. The captain’s whistle sounded high and shrill above the calm morning sea. The almadraba could begin.