Tag Archives: bluefin-tuna

Scientists find Bluefin tuna quick to swim away after catch and release

Early results of a new study show catch and release has little impact on tuna. Gary Melvin, a research scientist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and a team of researchers are catching, tagging, releasing and tracking the mortality and movements of bluefin tuna throughout the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Last week, the research team was tagging tuna off of Tignish, P.E.I. “It’s always the big question when you hook a fish and they fight, what happens? And it’s common thought that they recover and swim away,” Melvin said. click here to read the story 10:21

What It’s Really Like on a Wicked Tuna Fishing Boat

If you add it all up, the days and nights on the water, Captain TJ Ott has probably spent most of his 37 years on a boat. The captain of the 39-foot Hot Tuna is a bear of a man with a scraggly beard who loves the Grateful Dead, and he’ll be the first one to tell you without equivocation that his life as a commercial fisherman is a profession, but also a kind of addiction. All of it—the wind across the deck; the solitude of being out at a spot like Jeffreys Ledge in the Gulf of Maine; settled behind the wheel with a pair of Rottweilers named Reba and Ripple lounging at his heels, scanning the sonar screen—for a guy who grew up in the fishing community of Broad Channel, New York, it doesn’t get any better than this. click here to read the story 15:38

It’s not okay

As we get into the thick of tuna season right now, and plenty of “large-medium” and “giant” class bluefin tuna are being caught by anglers around Cape Cod, and “small mediums” as well as good-sized yellowfin in the New York Bite, I thought it more than appropriate to say this… It’s not okay…. It’s not okay for an angler to take his or her bluefin, or yellowfin, or bigeye or any fish for that matter and sell it to the local restaurant through the back door… for freak’n gas money. Unfortunately, this kinda thing happens pretty regularly up here. Don’t tell me that it doesn’t, because I hear the bragging frequently. And don’t tell me that it’s a victimless crime. The hard-working full-time commercial fishermen are the first to get screwed. But it’s the consumer as well,,, click here to read the story 10:34

NMFS Requests Comment on a Change to Bluefin Regulations

NOAA is seeking public comment regarding a request from the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance for an exemption from a regulation that prohibits having unauthorized gear on board while fishing for, retaining, or possessing a bluefin tuna. In their application, the Alliance suggest that the use of electronic monitoring, already required by federal fishing authorities is a sufficient at-sea monitoring to verify that the catch of bluefin tuna occurred on authorized gear.,,, The National Marine Fisheries Service is accepting public comment on the matter. Comments must be received by August 1, 2017, and may be submitted online. click here to read the story 15:09

Cape fishermen and environmentalists push to protect herring stocks from “Localized Depletion”

Local fishermen are hoping the New England Fishery Management Council will help protect tuna and other fisheries from the herring fleet by agreeing to have measures asking for year-round closures of up to 50 miles east of the Cape analyzed and included during a vote expected later this year. The council is meeting in Mystic, Connecticut, today through Thursday, when the board will work on herring regulations. “There’s a strong feeling that fisheries that used to happen here have been displaced by 10 years of intense herring removal,” said John Pappalardo, executive director of the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance, and a member of the New England council and its herring committee. “The haddock resource is robust, but there’s no meaningful haddock fishery close to shore.” Localized Depletion. Are they not considering that with the squid fishery too? Oh yes they are! click here to read the story 08:08

You can listen to all the council action by clicking these links. To read the final agenda, click here  Register click here to listen live via webinar.

Fish fight: Scientists battle over the true harm of mercury in tuna

Molly Lutcavage thought she had a deal. For more than a decade, she had collected hundreds of tissue samples from bluefin tuna in hopes of settling a question that has long vexed pregnant women and the parents of young children: Should they eat the big fish, a beneficial source of protein and fatty acids? Or did mercury contamination make them too dangerous? Lutcavage hoped to test the theory that selenium, a key chemical found in tuna, prevents mercury from being transferred to the people who eat them and that, therefore, the fish are safe to eat. So she gave her hard-won samples to a colleague, Nick Fisher, to analyze in his lab. But Fisher, it seems, didn’t have as much interest in Lutcavage’s selenium theory. Two years later, he produced a study focused almost exclusively on his own hypothesis: that lowering pollution emissions from power plants reduced the levels of mercury in bluefin tuna. Lutcavage was furious, and the two scientists went to war. continue reading the article here 14:55

Department of Fisheries and Oceans considers making on-board cameras a must in N.S., P.E.I. tuna fishery

Canada’s DFO is considering making onboard surveillance cameras mandatory in the tuna fishery in northern Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Next week DFO will release to industry its review of a two-year pilot project that saw cameras installed — starting in 2015 — for the first time in a commercial fishery in Atlantic Canada. The rear-facing cameras are aimed only at fishing activity. The department, which collects and reviews the data, says it may move to full implementation in the Gulf region for the commercial and charter boat catch-and-release bluefin tuna fishery in 2017. “This fishery has seen an increase in reports of non-compliance in recent years,” says a July 2016 briefing note prepared for the federal fisheries minister. More fallout from Operation Hook Up,,, continue reading the story here 10:17

A veteran commercial fisherman’s invite to fish for giants came along and I wasted no time in accepting.

Catching a giant bluefin with rod and reel has been on my bucket list for a long time. I grew up on the water and spent several summers as part of a crew that fished with handline or harpoon. My life’s path led me away from the ocean, and for years I’d wanted to go back and do it again with more sporting tackle. Decades passed without an opportunity and my desire was relegated to the back burner until a recent series of events rekindled the flame. Several more years passed as I tried unsuccessfully to mooch my way onto a boat until I eventually connected with fellow Mainer, Don Fletcher. A veteran commercial fisherman, Don switched over to tuna fishing after he acquired an Ocean Yachts 55 SS he named the Blue Bandit. When the invitation came to join him, I wasted no time in accepting. Continue reading the story here 16:52

When the water turns wicked

When it comes to being on the ocean – whether you’re a commercial fisherman out there making a living, a sport fisherman on the briny blue for a day of rod-and-reel action, or a diehard powerboat cruiser – there is always one factor that plays a crucial role in everything you do: the weather. We asked four well-known and seasoned professional captains how they plan for and handle heavy weather when at sea. All four are showcased on National Geographic Channel’s hit television show, “Wicked Tuna,” and each is a top-notch giant bluefin tuna fisherman and consummate seaman. Here’s what they have to say about managing their vessels in the often-nasty conditions of the North Atlantic Ocean. And here are their respective preferred tactics and strategies, stored in their memory banks after years of sea time in their rugged little tuna boats. Read this article by Shelley Fleming-Wigglesworth click here 10:13

Bluefin tuna goes for $632000 in 1st Tsukiji auction of ’17

Kiyomura Co’s President Kiyoshi Kimura (C), who runs a chain of sushi restaurants Sushi Zanmai, poses with a 212 kg (467 lbs) bluefin tuna at his sushi restaurant outside Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, Japan, January 5, 2017. Kimura won the bid for the tuna caught off Oma, Aomori prefecture, northern Japan, with a 74 million yen (633,000 USD) at the fish market’s first tuna auction this year. Kimura bought the most expensive tuna for the sixth consecutive year during the annual auction held in the Tsukiji Fish Market. The winning bid for the first tuna on the market past year was just 14 million yen. According to local sources, the ginormous blue tuna was sold to a major restaurant chain known as Sushi Zanmai. Read the rest here 08:15

Canada’s Bluefin Tuna Management: Time to Get it Right

hi-852-bluefin-tuna-0074651Back in August, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) released its recommendations on whether or not to list several marine species as endangered or threatened under the Species At Risk Act (SARA)—one of which was Atlantic bluefin tuna. Listing under SARA means the species is protected under Canadian law, and it becomes illegal to kill, harm, harass, capture or take an individual and prohibits the possession or trade of products made from them. DFO’s recommendation on bluefin was to not list bluefin under the Act, mostly citing the socio-economic impacts that would result from closing the Atlantic Canadian bluefin fishery if listed. Regardless of whether the government lists the species on SARA or not, these bluefin need more attention as they are currently at just 55% of their already depleted 1970s levels. Read the story here 14:02

Filmmaker John Hopkins says Bluefin tuna becoming ‘just like pets’!

bluefin-docA new documentary on the Atlantic bluefin tuna says the giant fish are exhibiting unusual behaviour after they migrate into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where some are being hand-fed by fishermen in the open ocean. “One of the things that has happened is they have lost their fear of human beings. They are just like pets. They are being fed over the side by fishermen,” said filmmaker John Hopkins of Square Deal Productions. The behaviour made filming the tuna much easier, he said, but it is puzzling. Hopkins’s National Film Board documentary, Bluefin, premieres at the Atlantic Film Festival on Wednesday. The 53-minute film chronicles the resurgence of bluefin tuna near the fishing port of North Lake, P.E.I., billed as the tuna capital of the world. Dalhousie University oceanographer Boris Worm likens the tuna returning to the Gulf of St. Lawrence to a last herd of buffalo roaming after the animal was wiped out everywhere else on the plains. Read the story here 11:26

Bluefin tuna – ‘The biggest, baddest fish in the ocean’

bluefin-5The love of the bluefin tuna runs deep in Jeff MacNeill. Captain Jeff, as he’s called, is the third generation in his family to fish for the giant bluefin. As long as he can remember, he has posed for photos next to the giant fish that have been hauled aboard a boat in what he calls “the battle.” “They’re so big, they’re so beautiful, they’re five times stronger than any other fish in the ocean,” said MacNeill. “It’s the biggest, baddest fish in the ocean and they’re right on our door step.” “It’s basically you’re hooking on to a Volkswagen is what you’re doing.” But it’s not all glory. MacNeill recalls many years ago when he went out for 28 days in a row without getting a bite.”I get emotional thinking about it, they’re just the greatest fish in the world. They are.” Read the story here, with more images 09:40

Rhode Island tagged Bluefin Tuna gains 593 pounds, travels 3,865 miles before recapture in the Mediterranean

bluefin_recapture01The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Southeast Fisheries Science Center in Miami, Florida has been tagging fish for years with the help of fishermen and scientists throughout the world. A 9-pound bluefin tuna caught, tagged and released by Capt. Al Anderson of Narragansett in 2004 at the Mudhole (about 17 miles east/southeast of Pt. Judith) was recaptured recently in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Sardinia, weighing in at 602 pounds. Anderson, who has tagged more bluefin tuna than anyone else in the world, said, “This was the 13th bluefin tuna I caught, tagged and released. The tagging of fish caught by fishermen helps scientists determine their migratory pattern, define their populations and if possible, estimate their growth rates, population sizes and mortality rate.” Tagging programs also help scientists determine the need for conservation programs, as well as how to plan for conservation programs. “During the 11-year timeframe from point of tagging to point of recapture, this bluefin tuna traveled 3,865 miles,” said Anderson. Read the rest here 11:54

How In Trouble Are Bluefin Tuna, Really? Controversial Study Makes Waves with Enviro’s

A group of scientists is now making the case that Atlantic bluefin may be more resilient to fishing than commonly thought — and perhaps better able to rebound from the species’ depleted state. But the study is controversial. Several tuna researchers we spoke with warned that the results are preliminary, and it’s much too soon to use them to guide how fisheries are managed. In an email exchange with The Salt, Safina writes, “[T]heir main concern is not recovery, not conservation, but how their findings can allow additional exploitation and more stress to be inflicted on a very beleaguered creature.” Read the article here 08:10

Bluefin Tuna Early Migration Focuses OLE Officer’s Attention On Compliance, Outreach

Atlantic bluefin tuna are beginning to appear off the coasts of North Carolina and Virginia. The early arrival of the highly sought-after finfish may be generating an enthusiastic stir among fishermen, but the  interest is in ensuring compliance throughout the season. “Bluefin tuna fisheries are among the most highly regulated in the world” said OLE Enforcement Officer Justin Hanacek. “In order to safeguard the species’ stability it’s important to comply with all the regulations intended to protect and manage the population throughout all stages of the migration along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States.” Read the rest here 08:16

Stanford biology professor Barbara Block warns that the bluefin is trouble because of decades of overfishing.

When you mention tuna, most minds probably swim to the ubiquitous cans of the fish, or maybe a delectable piece of sashimi decked out with roe and wasabi. But when Stanford biology professor Barbara Block contemplates tuna, her mind goes to images of bluefin tuna — the massive, speedy fish that regularly traverse oceans in a single year. “Over a lifetime they might travel tens of thousands of miles,” Block said, flanked by California’s Monterey Bay. Block is warning that the bluefin, once thought to be incredibly bountiful, is now facing peril because of decades of overfishing. Read the article here 12:02

Bluefin Tuna Sells for $117,000 at Tokyo Auction

The owner of a chain of sushi restaurants paid ¥14 million ($117,000) for a 200-kilogram bluefin tuna at the first auction of the year at Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market Tuesday. Kiyoshi Kimura, president of Kiyomura Co., has won the year’s first bid for the fifth consecutive year. He told reporters the tuna “is in great form and should taste splendid.” The tuna was caught off Oma, Aomori prefecture, in northern Japan. Read the article here 23:17

Bluefin tuna sighted early in season off Outer Banks

567f11f833d86.imageBluefin tuna season is here again, traditionally running from November through March, sometimes into April, and there have already been landings in Carteret County, as well as some anecdotal reports of the prized commercial fish showing up off the Outer Banks. Bluefin tuna are a sought-after commercial finfish for sushi, and individual fish can sell for several thousand dollars on the international market. Matt Frost, owner and operator of Homer Smith Seafood in Beaufort, said as of Wednesday he’s had about 6,100 pounds of bluefin tuna landed at his fish house. Read the article here  20:20

Bluefin tuna industry needs more oversight, Pictou County fisherman says

A fisherman in Pictou County wants the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to increase oversight of the bluefin tuna fishing industry in Nova Scotia. Harold Bowen has fished out of Caribou along the Northumberland Strait his entire life, including for tuna. One day, earlier this fall, seven dead tuna — one weighing 317 kilograms — washed up on the rocks, Bowen said Wednesday. Part of the fishing line was still hooked in at least one of them, he said. He says that’s an indication the tuna died as a result of improper fishing practices,,, Read the article here 08:46

‘Biggest fish of my life’: A Cape Breton fisherman’s hunt for the majestic bluefin tuna

The fishing rod lurched down like it was pulled by a motorcycle, rattling in its holster as the frantic bluefin tuna fought against the hook. It was as thick as three men, long as a kayak, and strong enough to drag the the 40-foot boat in the Northumberland Strait. “Look at him bending that rod,” captain Jeff Mills said to his two-man crew, three kilometres off the coast of Cape Breton. “You feel the boat going?” The rod suddenly straightened out and the line went limp. “Gone!” Mills screamed. The three fishermen stared at one another. Then Mills looked out at the water and realized the fish wasn’t gone; it was swimming toward the boat. Read the rest here 08:06

Muskegon County man catches 600-pound tuna during Massachusetts vacation

In West Michigan, landing a 30-pound salmon is cause for serious bragging rights, but Norton Shores resident Tom Kresnak has a bigger fish story than that. Kresnak took a couple of charter boat trips out of Gloucester, Mass. during vacation a few weeks ago, and on one of the trips he helped reel in a 600-pound tuna. Tuna fishing has enjoyed increased popularity these days due to Wicked Tuna, a reality TV series on the National Geographic Channel. Kresnak is a fan and hoped for the best. “The whole purpose of the trip was this, to go tuna fishing,” he said. “I wanted the real experience.” Read the rest here 10:40

Fish potentially worth millions of pounds found off Cornwall – but fishermen will not be able to touch them

A shoal of bluefin tuna potentially worth millions of pounds has appeared off the coast of Cornwall – but local fishermen will not be able to touch a single fish. The record price for a single tuna on the Japanese market is about £1 million, and the shoal, of around 500 fish, is believed to be the largest sighted off the county in over a century. Duncan and Hannah Jones, the owners of a tourist cruise company in Penzance who discovered the fish, said it was as though the sea was “exploding”. But EU fishing regulations prevent British boats from catching bluefin tuna. Read the rest here 08:11

710-lbs. Atlantic Bluefin tuna caught in Conception Bay with rod and reel

Greer Hunt Jr., 23, landed his first Atlantic bluefin tuna Tuesday, using just a rod and reel to haul in the massive fish. He shares the only licence to catch Atlantic bluefin tuna in Conception Bay with his father, Greer Hunt Sr. They are also the only fishermen in Newfoundland allowed to catch them using a rod and reel. The Hunts have a quota of a tonne and half per year, but they can also take part in the commercial fishery as well. Read the rest here 09:12

Bluefin quota increased for harpoon fishing

Harpoon fishermen will be able to catch an additional 40 metric tons of bluefin tuna this year. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration at the United States Department of Commerce announced in the Federal Register of Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015 that it is transferring the 40 tons to the harpoon category from the reserve category. The in-season quota transfer is in effect immediately. Read the rest here Notice @ NOAA 17:41

P.E.I. Tuna fishermen delay season start to let fish ‘fatten up’

Although tuna season is now officially underway on P.E.I., many fishermen are choosing to delay their start. Friday was the first day of fishing, but buyer Jason Tomkins says he didn’t think any of the Island’s 300-plus tuna fishermen were heading out. He says tuna on the U.S. East Coast have been coming in small, and some Island fishermen are holding out. “The fish have just arrived here in the last couple of weeks and a lot of the results so far out of the fish down in the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S. have, I guess, been a little less than desirable,” said Tomkins. Read the rest here 10:05

Catch quota may be raised for bluefin tuna, ‘one of the success stories’

thumbnailCAI0LXDYThe bluefin tuna is on the rebound a decade after it symbolized the failure of international fisheries management. Some scientists and Maine fishermen say the assessment by federal regulators is overdue. U.S. fishery managers announced Wednesday that they are removing bluefin tuna from the list of species subject to overfishing, and plan to recommend to an international body that the catch quota for the U.S. be increased. Read the rest here 10:07

N.C. man had record-holding catch… if only for a week

Cherish the moments. They sometimes don’t last very long. A pair of mid-Atlantic anglers can attest to that. Less than two weeks ago, Robert Smith of Manteo, N.C., caught a big bluefin tuna that topped the existing Virginia record for the species. Then last week, Virginia Beach’s Chase Robinson topped Smith’s catch. The current mark is a 573-pounder. Smith’s fish tipped the scales at 576-1/2 pounds. Robinson’s fish came in at 606. Read the rest here 12:16

Japanese scientists breed first captive bluefin tuna

Scientists from Kinki University in Wakayama have been working on the technology for 30 years. “The first challenge was to increase survival rates from harvested eggs to hatchlings, and we got it to 5 per cent,” the university’s Professor Yoshifumi Sawada said. “The bluefin hatchlings ate each other, so we then had to introduce other types of hatchling species for them to eat.”,The scientists also faced the difficulty of replicating the best conditions for Bluefin,,, Read the rest here 07:21

Turkey’s unilateral decision to exceed catch limits threatening Bluefin tuna recovery

thumbnailCAI0LXDYDocuments seen by The Associated Press and EU comments on Friday show that during an intense meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas early this week, delegates were angry at for announcing it would catch up to 73 percent more Bluefin than under an internationally agreed plan. Turkey said this week that its “longstanding and rightful demand” for a higher quota had not been met, forcing it to take independent action. Read the rest here 15:12