On September 28, a huge bluefin tuna weighing 600lbs and eight and a half feet long is the biggest caught tuna fish from the off coast of Ireland this year. It was reported that the Bluefin tuna was worth millions of pounds and despite that, the fish catcher released the fish back to sea.
According to the reports the fish was approximately worth €3m (£2.6m). The discovery happened during a catch and release program where several boats on Ireland’s south and west coasts participated to count the number of bluefin tuna left as the stock of the fish seems to be gradually decreasing. The crew reported that they were not out there hunting the fish for the commercial purpose.
The fish was caught by David Edwards of Courtmacsherry-based West Cork Charters from the three miles south of the base in southern Ireland. The animal was tagged before the release. Edwards while talking to the international media said that such bluefin tuna are common in the Donegal Bay where they follow the herring. The tuna is more unusual in the bay and seem bigger once they show up. He acknowledged that the one he caught was really a big fish.
Edwards posted photos of the wonderful fish on his Facebook page and said thanks to his group including Darren O'Sullivan from Cork city and Dutch angler Henk Veldman. A day earlier they had a considerably even bigger fish snared, however, neglected to get the fish after the reel failed. Writing on Facebook about the effective catch, Edwards stated, “Finally!!! Got the first Bluefin Tuna to be caught, tagged and released on the South Coast of Ireland. 102 inches long is 5-600lb in weight and well done to my crew for the day, Darren O’Sullivan, Henk Veldman, and John Dillon, great job lads.”
Responding to a comment asking if the size of the fish was due to “a global warming effect”, Edwards replied: “More of a case of curbing the massive Japanese fleet that was targeting [them] a few years back.”
Bluefin fish is a prized rare delicacy in Japan, where a single fish weighing 278kg – a comparative size to the one Edwards reeled in – was sold for 333.6 million yen (£2.5m) in January this year. The fish is winding up progressively uncommon mainly due to overfishing. It is recorded as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Programs like the catch and release help to keep a track of the number of fishes left. Commercial use of endangered species should be restricted.