During the nineteenth century the products produced in the valley such as wine were exchanged with fresh fish from the Bay of Biscay through what is known as the wine route. Rufino Arroyabe began selling fresh fish on the plateau through this bartering system. In order to keep the fish fresh and in the best possible conditions en route to its destination, he would pack it with ice as he passed by Gorbea. The year was 1898 and after several years of selling these products, Rufino Arroyabe decided to build a cannery and combine it with a winery.

In those days, the fish was canned and preserved by salting or brining, which is how Bonito tuna in brine originated.


With the help of his son, Rufino Arroyabe Ruiz de Azua, new products were added to the initial product line and the production process of canning was improved until they achieved high quality products with exquisite flavor.

In the 60’s they moved to a new facility in the town of Bermeo, Spain, abandoning the winery and exclusively focusing on canning White Tuna and Salted Anchovies. They began to try out new products such as canning fish in olive oil (up to that point they only canned using brine).

In 1996, they built the current factory in the outskirts of Bermeo which enabled them to combine technological innovation with traditional preparation. The new facility enabled them to increase the sizes of their products in order to meet consumer needs with glass jars of White Tuna.


We are currently able to cover the whole market with industrial sizes on one hand and smaller formats aimed at end users while always maintaining quality in the traditional preparation of the product which was passed down from parents to children to grandchildren…

The quality of our raw materials is essential to our success. Therefore, our entire staff carefully embarks on a very meticulous process of selecting and purchasing them.


For over 100 years Arroyabe has been dedicated to the traditional preparation of canned fish (Bonito del Norte White Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna, and Anchovies), providing maximum flavor and exquisite taste.

Located in Bermeo, which has the largest fishing fleet in the Bay of Biscay, we have modern high-tech facilities that enable us to produce canned fish with all the flavor, freshness, and quality while maintaining the essence of craftsmanship that sets us apart.

The future of our business depends on continuous innovation in the production process which enables us to provide the highest quality in our products, and the continuing care of the species that we use to prepare them which makes us very sensitive to the fishing methods used by our fishermen for the survival of the species.


Commitment to sustainability

The White Tuna / Albacore is caught in summer in the Bay of Biscay by selective, ecological and traditional fishing (pole and line).

Cantabrian anchovy is caught in the Bay of Biscay during spring using purse seine nets, an artisanal surface fishing method. This fishing method respects the environmental balance and marine sustainability


Arroyabe is certified in the MSC chain of custody standard. The MSC Standards define the requirements for fisheries to be certified as sustainable and for business to trade in certified seafood.

Our products are in compliance with Friend of the Sea Criteria for Sustainable Fisheries. Friend of the Sea is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation, whose mission is the conservation of the marine habitat. Products and their origins are audited onsite by independent international certification bodies, against strict Friend of the Sea sustainability criteria.

All our products are Dolphin Safe certified, which assures that the tuna does not come from vessels that chase and encircle herds of dolphins.

In 2014 we were awarded with the Eroski Award for sustainability by Eroski, the largest supermarket chain in the Basque Country. The award recognizes our work to minimize the environmental impact and our commitment with sustainable fishing.

Source of informations and images:

Arroyabe products at Cannedfish: