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First UK bluefin tuna season: more than 50 fish caught already


The UK’s first bluefin tuna season is going from strength to strength. Figures just released at the halfway point of the trial programme reveal that more than 50 fish have been caught.

The CHART scheme – CatcH And Release Tagging – has been driven by Bluefin Tuna UK, which has been campaigning for the fishery for over three years. The campaign, the subject of a special report by Angling International earlier this year, also received the support of the Angling Trades Association, the representative body for the industry. Despite stiff resistance from some conservation bodies, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aqualculture Science (Cefas), gave the go ahead in April this year. 

The development could be another shot in the arm for an industry already prospering from the spin-off effects of COVID. Funding for the initiative is provided by DEFRA, the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which is keen to hear the views of the industry on how best the UK can continue with a bluefin tuna season in a sustainable way.

Recreational anglers were encouraged to book with 15 vessels selected to take part in the trial in the eastern and western English Channel and the Bristol Channel between August 16th and November 14th.

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