What A Catch! 102-Kilo Tuna Landed In Jersey First
A tuna weighing 102 kilos has been caught in Jersey waters.
It’s believed to be the first time the species has ever been landed in the island.
A crew of recreational fishermen captured the massive Atlantic Bluefin at the weekend.
It took Chris Chatfield, Tariq Osman and Joe McKenna around an hour and 40 minutes to reel in the 224lbs tuna.
Chris told Channel 103 is has been the culmination of a three-year search:
“When I first saw one jump at the Demie (de pas lighthouse) just of Jersey, that’s when i thought, ‘right they’re here’. I’ve had a few close ones but never actually managed to hook one.
“We saw the feeding frenzy. It was brilliant. We had four fish on the go at one stage. It was very exciting. It ended up ripping the reel of the rod towards the end. All three of us were there, one holding the rod, one holding the reel and one with a hand line to get it in at the very end.”
The bluefins are usually only found in the Bay of Biscay and Mediterranean but rising water temperatures are sending more into British waters.
Last week, French fishermen netted 44 of them in Jersey waters and took them to Granville to be sold. It made national headlines because of the so-called ‘scallop war’ dispute between British and French fishermen.
The local catch has caused a stir among the island’s fishing community:
“They are all happy for me because they know how much dedication I have put in to it. They are over the moon.
I could have easily landed more than one, but one was enough. I would release any other ones I catch now, cos I’ve got plenty of tuna for a while!”
The crew has shared the tuna between them and their families.
“It was awesome. I still can’t believe it. I hardly slept last night. I woke up this morning saying ‘is this for real?”
The States of Jersey’s Fisheries department reminds us that while there are restrictions on catching the fish in UK waters – or by commercial fishing vessels- there are currently no rules against recreational fishermen catching them in Jersey waters: