September’s issue of ‘My Boat’s Bigger than Your Boat Magazine’ dropped through the letter box this morning and glancing through it I was interested to read about the ongoing saga of Dorset’s Bluefin Tuna. Apparently a 35lb specimen of this splendid fish was captured by a spear fisherman, just outside Porland Harbour recently and has caused a bit of a stir!
It would seem that MBB than YBM arranged a competition to capture a Bluefin Tuna with a rod and line, then had to take the competition down after a complaint from the Angling Trust. Defra have joined in the argument, claiming that catching these fish on a rod and line is illegal, but no-one seems to have produced any evidence yet.
Whatever the legalities of the matter it does seem a little odd to organise a competition to catch an animal which is generally regarded to be in decline, and may even be endangered. Or to continue to encourage anglers to catch these fish (even after the competition has been removed), which some of this website’s forum members are still doing.
The Dorset Wildlife Trust has been urging anglers not to kill the Bluefin Tuna when they catch them, and I am sure that most of these fishermen will indeed be returning them to the sea. But that does not alter the fact the stress caused to these powerful fish during the long process of reeling them in, is almost bound to compromise their immune system to some extent.
Dare I suggest that anglers just leave them alone, and catch something they can take home for their tea?
What do you think? Would you like to catch a Bluefin Tuna, or would you rather fish for something you can take home and eat?
If you found this interesting you might enjoy ‘What is the point in Catch and Release’