The Government has opened a consultation on a recreational ‘catch and release’ fishery for bluefin tuna.
This follows a successful bluefin tuna Catch And Release Tag (CHART) programme has which run across the South West and includes the Aquilla in Mevagissey.
Defra is now consulting on plans to permit catch and release recreational fisheries for bluefin tuna in the UK, with the aim of having fishing taking place in UK waters from next summer – allowing recreational fishers, coastal communities and the wider economy to benefit from the presence of this iconic species in our waters while ensuring it remains sustainable in the long term.
St Austell and Newquay’s Member of Parliament Steve Double had worked with the Angling Trust to make representations to DEFRA to confirm the continuation of the original programme.
Commenting, Steve said:
“I am delighted to see DEFRA follow up on their commitment from last year and open a consultation on a national catch and release recreational fisheries for bluefin tuna in the UK,
“The programme that previously ran showed how successful a catch and release bluefin tuna fishery can be, making a major contribution to our knowledge of the species and why they are in UK waters, and even at a small scale, contributing an estimated £650,000 to £750,000 to the local economy, including extending the season for the charter boats involved beyond the end of the summer.”
“The recreational fishing sector has shown that we have a world class Atlantic Bluefin Tuna fishery on our doorstep. A fishery that can deliver incredible angling experiences, significant economic benefits, world class science, and do so in a sustainable manner.”
“I encourage all with an interest in this area to respond to the consultation and have your say, and hope it will result in the success we have experienced with a Bluefin Tuna catch and release fishery locally replicated in waters around the UK.”
The consultation runs until the 4th September and can be accessed via the link below: