Tavira is a bustling fishing port on the Algarve in Portugal surrounded by rolling countryside consisting of orange, fig and almond trees. A short walk from the town is the beautiful Barril beach of fine white sand that stretches for over 14 kilometers. Lying among the sand dunes on the beach is what locals call the “Cemitério das Âncoras” or the Cemetery Of Anchors. For centuries, Tavira thrived on the Tuna fishing industry but when the fish stocks declined and fishermen gave up their occupation, these anchors were left behind on the beach to rust.
It’s not certain who was the first to line up the anchors but evidently those who followed thought it was an idea worth emulating.
The tuna fishermen and the fishing industry is long gone now replaced by hotels and tourists. But this strange cemetery remains as a reminder of the past, when tunas were a living resource.
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