Why must we look on as France and Spain plun­der stocks?

Angling Times (UK) - - NEWS -

HERE is an air of mys­tery sur­round­ing the bluefin tuna’s reap­pear­ance in UK waters.

TI am con­vinced that the over­throw of Libya’s Colonel Gadaffi is the ma­jor rea­son for the in­crease in num­bers. His regime trapped and net­ted hun­dreds of thou­sands of bluefins, stor­ing and feed­ing them in huge net com­pounds right through the Mediter­ranean and Adri­atic Seas,

Bluefins are able to ad­just their body tem­per­a­tures to visit tem­per­ate, even chilly, waters and in recent times a fish­ery has been cre­ated off the west coast of Ire­land.

It wasn’t long af­ter those fish ap­peared that I saw my first tuna off the Welsh coast dur­ing a day’s shark­ing with An­drew Al­sop.

A few weeks ago my old pal and former Angling Times man Greg White­head sent me some video from Guernsey show­ing a stu­pen­dous school of mas­sive bluefins that had been es­tab­lished for weeks... and this, ap­par­ently, is only one of sev­eral.

What I can’t un­der­stand is why we can’t just catch and re­lease them. France and Spain have quo­tas and take fish from the very shoals we can’t aim a hook at – it’s mad­ness.

Hope­fully a new cam­paign to al­low a li­censed recre­ational catch-and-re­lease fish­ery will en­able the UK to be in a po­si­tion to in­vite for­eign an­glers here for some fish­ing that, on cur­rent lev­els, will be at the very least the equal of any­thing in the world.

Bluefin tuna have re­turned in force to Bri­tish waters.

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