A trial fishery for Atlantic bluefin, managed by DEFRA and the MMO, uses 39 tonnes of the UK’s 65 tonne quota for 2023, with licences issued to ten fishermen.
The fishery is restricted to rod-and-reel gears using lures, with no use of live bait of chumming permitted. The trial fishery opens in November and is part of an evaluation of the possibilities for a small-scale commercial bluefin fishery, and the social and economic benefits this could bring.
Opportunities for recreational anglers to fish for Atlantic bluefin tuna will again be available under the Catch and Release Tagging programme (CHART), for 24 charter vessels from South-West and Southern England.
Delivered by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), the tuna caught in CHART will be carefully tagged and released back into the ocean by the skippers and their crew. The programme will provide important scientific data to understand and manage Atlantic bluefin tuna while also providing benefits to coastal communities through high-value tourism.
The data collected from this work will contribute to improving understanding of Atlantic bluefin tuna in UK waters and will also be made available to the RFMO responsible for managing tuna fisheries in this part of the world, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT).