We’ve seen a spate of tuna sightings in UK waters and, in turn, there has been a push for a change in the legislation to allow anglers to fish for them.
Big game fish could prove to be a valuable resource from Cornwall, through the Celtic deeps off south-west Wales and throughout the Western Isles of Scotland, where there have been hundreds of sightings.
Tuna stocks in UK waters have steadily declined from the big numbers that were once landed out of harbours like Scarborough by big game anglers.
Since the 50s, it had fallen away to almost nothing.
Overfishing and the decimation of the herring stocks are the likely cause of the decline and, by the 90s, Atlantic bluefin tuna were a rare fish and globally recognised as endangered.
Scotland is home to some of the best skate charter fishing in the world.
With live release charters, we encourage responsible angling and are working with conservationists to track the population of that giant in our waters.
Fish of the Week
This week’s winner of the Daiwa Fish of the Week is Keith Reid.
Keith caught this peak condition pike on a superb day in the boat on a Scottish loch to start his autumn campaign.
He was set up to tackle big pike and his strong gear was well matched against this beautiful fish.
It put up a spectacular fight before being netted, unhooked and released safely.
Send your entry to: Fish of the Week, Glasgow Angling centre, Unit 1, Point Retail Park, 29 Saracen Street, Glasgow G22 5HT, or email with a photo and your full address to email@example.com
The voluntary scheme provides data on a critically endangered species that is now a much sought after sportfish.
One of the silver linings of the Brexit negotiations, if there is such a thing, is the possibility of establishing a recreational fishery for these big game fish.
The introduction of a live-release sport fishery would deliver a significantly greater economic return, per ton, than a traditional commercial fishery, with benefits spread across coastal communities.
Without a quota allocation for recreational fishing, anglers can’t target, fish for or land bluefin tuna.
The introduction of recreational angling for bluefin tuna within a well-regulated fishery, with welfare and sustainability of the bluefin at its core, would bolster fish stocks and encourage conservation.
It could also enforce strict licensing, with rules governing tackle requirements, restricting the number of hookups per day and limiting times to minimise fish losses.
What does that mean in real terms? For 100 fish caught, rather than have just the value of 100 dead bluefin – about £300,000 – you create hundreds of charter vessel opportunities.
Applying typical daily charter rates for recreational bluefin angling, the charter revenue potential alone dwarfs the commercial dockside value without factoring in benefits such as hotels, restaurants etc.