Giant Atlantic Bluefin Tuna have been gracing the waters off Torbay each autumn for several years now. The Angling Trust has been working with local fishing charter vessel captains to persuade the Government to adopt a scientifically useful CatcH And Release Tagging (‘CHART’) program for the fish this year. Several other countries including Ireland, Sweden and Denmark already operate hugely successful programs with the support of the species global management body ICCAT.
If such a program were adopted in our waters it could bring large numbers of anglers spending substantial sums to stay and fish for ‘the catch of a lifetime’. Out of season revenue such as this would be extremely welcome, especially against the backdrop of the damage wrought to our area’s tourism sector by Covid-19.
Economic benefits for Torbay
Recreational Bluefin Tuna fisheries have been shown to generate significant economic benefits for the coastal communities hosting the fishing fleets. Live release (‘catch and release’) fisheries in particular have been shown to generate multiples of revenue per tonne than that of the commercial harvesting of the same fish. Anglers will travel far and spend significant sums to catch (and release) a ‘Giant’ Atlantic Bluefin. For many it is ‘the catch of a lifetime’.
‘Torbay is in a fantastic location to be able to participate in this Citizen science. Additionally it could result in anglers flocking to the area in September and October, to charter authorised vessels and catch, tag and release a Bluefin. There are significant economic as well as scientific benefits’.Steve Murphy – Bluefin Tuna uk.
The operation of such a program would bring significant economic and social benefits to those participating ports. This is additional, ‘out of season’ revenue for communities that in many cases are economically challenged. The Angling Trust and Bluefin Tuna UK have drawn upon the experiences of Ireland and other countries and provided DEFRA with a detailed proposal for such a program in our waters in 2020. We would welcome your support for this scientifically and economically valuable program, putting the UK at the forefront of world class science led fisheries management.
We need your support
We are calling upon the UK authorities to establish a UK ‘CHART’, catch & release, bluefin tuna tagging program for 2020. We need your support. Please contact us for more details on how you can get involved using the details below.
Matt Forester: qualified charter skipper and guide – firstname.lastname@example.org