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Bluefin Tuna – An exciting new opportunity for Torbay


Latest News update : June 2021

We are pleased to announce that the government will adopt a scientifically useful CatcH And Release Tagging (‘CHART’) program for the fish this year. CHART 2021 will now commence on the 16th August 2021 until the 14th November 2021. Lobbying from charter skippers, anglers and pressure from the tourism sector, hospitality and other local business including Torquay Chamber of Commerce undoubtedly helped succeed in overturning the initial ministerial decision.

” With my time being focussed mainly on mobilising the lobbying power of charter skippers and anglers, your personal input in securing the support of those beneficiaries beyond the charter skippers and anglers was invaluable and on behalf of the Bluefin Tuna UK Team I would like to thank you and the Torbay Chamber of Commerce for their support.

The power and reach of the Chamber of Commerce was not something I had been aware of prior to our working together but having experienced it I can safely say its an organisation which our MP’s and Ministers should respect. “

John McMaster, Bluefin Tuna

Latest News update : January 2021

Angling representatives met last week with Anthony Mangnall, MP for Totnes, and Susie Colley, Chair of the Torbay Chamber of Commerce, which helped to arrange the meeting, to explain how support for a recreational bluefin tuna fishery, and the sea angling sector in general, would reap benefits for many small businesses suffering the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Please read our latest press release (PDF)

The Bluefin Tuna Team

An exciting opportunity for Torbay

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 partake in the ‘CHART’ program. 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’.

Learn More about the economical benefits (PDF)

‘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.

Community benefits

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 mattforrester410@hotmail.com