A 100-year-old tuna packaging plant in Calabria, Italy is still getting the job done. NY1's Valarie D'Elia filed the following report.
The catch of the day doesn’t get fresher than this in the port town of Vibo Marina in the Calabria region of Southern Italy. This area near the toe of the boot-shaped country is perfectly situated to produce the bounty of seafood served along the coast of the Tyrrhenian sea.
For centuries, Yellowfin tuna was trapped by nets in the waters around nearby Pizzo, but restrictions by the European Union are forcing major operators such as the Callipo brand to fish the Indian Ocean instead, relegating the waters around Pizzo to the pricey Red tuna catch for sushi.
"This kind of tuna is very appealing to the Japanese market for example, where they are willing to pay very high prices," explains Filippo Callipo of Callipo Tuna.
Callipo is the fourth generation in a family of "tonnaroti" or tuna fishermen and is now the president of the 100-year-old company that bears the family name.
Callipo is a tuna packaging facility that processes about 25 tons of frozen tuna a day.
The facility is open for free tours by appointment only showing visitors step-by-step how tuna makes it from the ocean to your plate. A plant that claims to be the first in Italy to use a glass jar to store high quality tuna drenched in olive oil.
Callipo maintains the tradition of employing mainly women on the line. The tuna is sold predominantly in Europe, Australia and Canada, with limited shipments destined for gourmet shops in the U.S.
The leftovers are sold to cat food companies.