The Bay of St Jean de Luz lies between the Pyrenean foothills and the open ocean.
As the only sheltered cove between Arcachon and Spain, fishermen have used it to harbour their boats since the 9th century. Once whale hunters, the fishermen of St Jean de Luz began hunting tuna between May and October, back in the 17th century. The blue fin tuna is a formidable predator and rapid swimmer that weighs an average of 100 to 125 kg. By 1950, appreciation for its bright red flesh had turned St Jean de Luz into France's leading tuna port.