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In tuna season, only a few shine

Nearly 12 tonnes of Bluefin tuna have been caught in British Gibraltar territorial waters so far this season, the Gibraltar Government said yesterday as it revealed 60% of that catch had been landed by seven local fishermen.

The season started on June 16 and officially ends on October 14, but the Rock’s 13-tonne quota has almost been filled and only one more tonne of Bluefin can be landed.

Once the quota is filled, the season will close irrespective of the date.

A total of 722 local fishermen are licensed to fish for Atlantic Bluefin tuna in Gibraltar waters and there is no restriction on how much each individual can land, other than a maximum of one fish per day.

“The quota is open to all registered class K license holders, therefore everyone has an equal opportunity to fish for tuna,” a government spokesman said.

However the government’s data shows that when it comes to catching this highly-prized species, skill and dedication to the sport appear to be the preserve of a small number of local fishermen.

So far this year just 59 license holders have caught tuna, while the lion’s share of the overall catch - around seven tonnes - was landed by seven local fishermen.

“One of those fishermen has so far caught a total of 2.5 tonnes of Bluefin tuna,” a government spokesman said.

FULL STORY IN OUR PRINT AND E-EDITIONS

Main pic by DM Parody