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14th June 2024, 21:08

Bluefin Tuna fishing season opens Sunday - one fish per day per licence holder and vessel allowed

Published by GBC News

The bluefin tuna fishing season opens on Sunday 16th June.

Anglers with a class K licence have to to report and weigh their catches at the North Mole. A maximum of one fish per day per licence holder and vessel will be permitted this year. The minimum size of Bluefin tuna that can be caught is 30kgs and 130cm fork length.

Towing live specimens into the landing station is strictly prohibited and may result in licences being revoked.

The total allowable catch over the next six weeks will be 22 tonnes.

The Government says the landing point will be operational 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.

In order to better assess Bluefin tuna fishing activity in BGTW, the Government says landing point staff must be contacted as soon as a vessel catches a Bluefin tuna. Details on vessel movements, based on geographical coordinates, may be requested by the Environmental Protection & Research Unit (EPRU).

Anglers are also required to report any recreational catches of Billfish species, such as the Mediterranean Swordfish, which are locally classified as Species in Need of Strict Protection. The minimum size for Mediterranean Swordfish is 90 cm excluding the sword length.

And, a reminder that ‘popping’ for tuna will not be allowed inside the Dolphin Protection Zone approximately north of Rosia Bay as the fishing method is known to cause serious injury to dolphins. If anglers targeting Bluefin tuna cast any lines close to dolphins their fishing licenses may be revoked. 

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Further information on minimum sizes can be found here.