Gibraltar Chronicle Logo
Local News

Bluefin tuna season to open tomorrow with 25t quota

Photo by Johnny Bugeja.

The Bluefin tuna season will open tomorrow with a 25-tonne quota with the Department of Environment reviewing a mechanism to regulate the commercial sale of locally caught tuna.

The total allowable catch has remained the same as last year and the quota will be split in two parts.

The first part of the quota has been set at 22 tonnes for the period June 16 to July 25 unless limit is reached beforehand in which case the season will be temporarily closed.

The second part of the quota is set at three tonnes and the open season will recommence on August 6 to October 14, 2024.

A Government spokesman told the Chronicle that regulation regarding the commercial sale of the
prized fish “is still being reviewed by the Department of the Environment together with partner authorities”.

As from Sunday, sports fisherman can catch a tuna a day during open season.

Anglers are reminded that a Class K licence is required to fish for Bluefin tuna.

A dedicated landing station has been set up within the North Mole (No. 1 Jetty).

Anglers are reminded that all tuna and billfish catches must be reported and weighed at the landing point where vessels will be able to dock.

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

The landing point will be manned from 9am to 2.30pm from Monday to Saturday. Any catches landed from 2.30pm 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, landing point staff must be
contacted as soon as a vessel catches a Bluefin tuna,” the Government said.

“Details on vessel movements, based on geographical coordinates, may be requested by the DESHCC’s Environmental Protection and Research Unit (EPRU).”

“A maximum number 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.”

“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 90cm excluding the sword length.

Anglers are reminded 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 approximately north of Rosia Bay.

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.

The EPRU will be working very closely with marine enforcement agencies during the open season in
order to monitor vessel activity in BGTW and ensure that the requirements of the Tuna Preservation Regulations are adhered to.

As part of its duties, the EPRU will be emphasising the need to adhere to the Cetacean Protocol.

Vessels are required to maintain a minimum distance of 60 metres from any dolphin or whale whilst navigating in BGTW.

The Protocol also establishes a 500-metre radius from the animals within which vessels must travel
at a constant speed of no more than 4 knots or no greater than the slowest animal in the group.

The objective of the Protocol is to protect dolphins and whales in BGTW. It can be viewed online from:

Further information on minimum sizes can be found online by accessing the Department’s Species
Identification Booklet:

For further information on the Bluefin tuna open season please contact the DESHCC on or Tel: 200 71061.

Most Read

Download The App On The iOS Store