The Bluefin Tuna Open Season has now recommenced. To date the total amount of Bluefin Tuna Thunnus thynnus landed this season stands at approximately 13.6 tonnes.
The Total Allowable Catch (TAC, or ‘quota’) has been increased in accordance with the recent increase in quotas set by ICCAT (the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas) to 19.81 tonnes.
Anglers are reminded that the landing point is at the North Mole (No. 1 Jetty), and that all tuna and billfish catches must be reported and weighed at the landing point where vessels will be able to dock. The landing point will be manned from 09:00 to 14:30 (Monday-Saturday). Any catches landed from 14:30 to sunset must also be reported and weighed at the landing point by contacting the on-call landing point staff on mobile number 54020033. This service will also be operational on Sundays and public holidays.
The DESHCC would also like to remind anglers that the practice of ‘popping’ for tuna, which has been known to cause serious injury to dolphins, will not be allowed inside the Dolphin Protection Zone which is within the Bay of Gibraltar and approximately north of Rosia Bay. Other fishing methods will continue to be allowed within the Dolphin Protection Zone. Anglers targeting Bluefin tuna are advised that casting any lines close to dolphins, which are protected species, may result in their fishing licenses being revoked. Anglers, like all other boats users, must adhere to the Cetacean Protocol http://www.thinkinggreen.gov.gi/uploads/biodiversity/2018-Cetacean_Protocol.pdf and must not approach within 60metres of dolphins or whales.
A new development is the setting up of a Bluefin Tuna tagging programme in conjunction with fishing clubs. Applications from interested persons to participate can be downloaded from http://www.thinkinggreen.gov.gi/biodiversity/marine/fishing-regulation
The closing date will be Wednesday 12th August 2020. Only applicants with a valid Class K license will be considered. Successful applicants will be required to pay a £50 fee to cover the tagging equipment and induction course. The tuna tagging programme will have a strict set of conditions and a permissible list of equipment which can be used for the tag and release of Bluefin Tuna. Tagging procedures will be explained to the successful applicants in the induction course. More details will be released shortly.