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Govt increases quota for Bluefin tuna as season reopens

The Gibraltar Government has increased the quota for this year’s Bluefin tuna season from 13.6 tonnes to 19.81 tonnes.

The Bluefin Tuna Open Season has now recommenced and the total allowable catch has been increased in accordance with the recent increase in quotas set by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, No.6 Convent Place said.

In announcing the increase to the quota, the Department of the Environment, Sustainability, Heritage and Climate Change [DESHCC] reminded anglers that the practice of ‘popping’ for tuna can cause serious injury to dolphins and is prohibited inside the Dolphin Protection Zone, which is within the Bay of Gibraltar 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 a protected species, may result in their fishing licenses being revoked,” the DESHCC said, adding that all vessels must also adhere to the cetacean protection rules and stay at least 60m from whales and dolphins.

DESHCC also announced a new Bluefin tuna tagging programme in conjunction with fishing clubs.

“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,” the Department said.

“Tagging procedures will be explained to the successful applicants in the induction course."

Applications from interested persons to participate can be downloaded from http://www.thinkinggreen.gov.gi/biodiversity/marine/fishing-regulation. Completed application forms should be sent electronically to marine.monitoring@gibraltar.gov.gi. The closing date will be Wednesday August 12, 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 DESHCC also reminded anglers that all tuna and billfish catches must be reported and weighed at the landing point at the North Mole (No. 1 Jetty).

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.

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