Green light for British big game fishery plans

by Angling Times |

BRITAIN has moved a step closer to having a world-class big game fishery for the first time since the 1950s.

In 2021 more than 700 Atlantic Bluefin tuna to over 600lb were caught by 15 boats licensed under the CHART (Catch And Release Tag) programme in the South West of England. And that number could increase after representatives from the Angling Trust and Bluefin Tuna UK met with Fisheries Minister Victoria Prentis to push for a continuation of the scheme this summer, which was given the green light, as well as an increase in the number of licensed boats.

Steve Murphy, from Bluefin Tuna UK, said: “Last year’s programme exceeded all expectations, with record numbers of fish caught. I was pleased that the minister shared our enthusiasm to make the most of this exciting opportunity.”

Bluefin Tuna were present in big numbers off the east coast 80 years ago. Stocks started to collapse in the 1960s due to over-exploitation, but recent conservation efforts have helped them to recover.

“We’re keen to expand the number of participating boats and want to see our vision of a licensed live release, bluefin tuna fishery realised as soon as possible,” Steve added.

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