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Author Topic: Are Yellowfin, Big Eye or Bluefin Tuna Hitting our shores?  (Read 5684 times)
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skip
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« on: August 01, 2008, 12:34:20 CET »

Guys,

I don't know why, but I said to myself let me have a look at the 15kgs Tuna that I caught with Twoutes and Redbus9 last year and do some visual comparisons. Now last year I was convinced that what we caught in September was a Bluefin tuna but now I think I was wrong, and in fact it looks very much like a Yellowfin AS WELL!!



Have a look at the second dorsal fin.......it's Yellow and look at the vertical lines on silver part of the body. That my friends I think was a Yellowfin tuna as well which means that whilst they're not common in the Med, THEY HERE!!

For comparison have a look at a smaller Yellowfin Twoutes posted that he caught in Austrailia.....Update: This is what threw me off, but turns out when yellow's are young they are often mistaken for Bigeye sometimes even Bluefin! It should be easy to identify, maybe we can ask the fish to put a BFT, BE, or YF on itself!!



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rob1974
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« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2008, 13:01:53 CET »

Hi Skip,

I think they are both photos of Bluefin.  See links below.  Fish base is a great site for such queries.
http://www.fishbase.org/Photos/ThumbnailsSummary.php?ID=143
http://www.fishbase.org/Photos/ThumbnailsSummary.php?ID=147
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« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2008, 13:28:42 CET »

The second one definately is a Yellowfin as confirmed by Joe (Twoutes) who caught it in Oz, when the fish are younger their second dorsal and anal fin have not yet grown long and pointed as the older yellow's and that helps you 'guess' the age. The meat is also different to bluefin and very vivid red which yesterday's definately was.

Now personally I would prefer if it was a bluefin as they are better to eat than Yellows, but honestly it's hard to say as I'm no expert.

The biggest distinguishing mark are the vertical lines from the middle to the belly which are NOT found on bluefin. I could be wrong it's a hard one to call. Will post on some US forums where they catch both and see what they reckon.

Skip
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rob1974
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« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2008, 13:55:28 CET »

Keep me posted 'cause I got lost!!  The eye of the second one seems much larger.  Could this be a distinguishing factor?

Rob
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Robert
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« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2008, 14:12:08 CET »

Nick, when I was with you and we caught that 7kg +/- tuna, as soon as we gaffed it I said that it looked like a yellowfin - was like the one that twoutes is holding in the pic...but Simon said it was a bluefin...the next day I made some research and concluded that it was a bft.

Do you by any chance remember what twoutes said it was that day? If he regularly catches yellows in Oz, then he might shed some light on the matter. Come on twoutes...tell us what it was!

I don't know much about tuna but I thought that yellowfins have much longer fins...
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« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2008, 15:50:43 CET »

Keep me posted 'cause I got lost!!  The eye of the second one seems much larger.  Could this be a distinguishing factor?
Rob

You get lost!! Dude I'm so lost, I have no idea now except it's a Tuna!!! It seems that BFT are the most common, but Big Eye Tuna looks very similar to Yellow without the long anal and second dorsal. Apparently the head is much bigger, but to me Tuna always have massive heads, so truly I don't know!!
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« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2008, 21:30:34 CET »

Although I never fished for tuna,on tv yellow fins seem to have much bigger fins.
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« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2008, 21:42:50 CET »

The guys in the US said that whilst the characteristics of a yellowfin are there at that size the fins should be longer. Their general consensus is BigEye but apparently they arent in the Med at all so probably just BFT albeit a tad off the norm. Though another suggestion has been southern bluefin
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« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2008, 14:13:01 CET »

My friend this morning has caught 2 35 / 40kgs tuna off Marsascala. Will try to bring some photos of them. Werent caught while trolling but hand line fishing using as bait kavalli.
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« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2008, 14:33:00 CET »

Nice, very nice. Was he at the fish farms or in open water?
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rob1974
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« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2008, 09:01:52 CET »

I heard of various tuna being caught close to the fishfarm off M'scala, the one situated 6miles out.  People are fishing with cavalli.  There are also large ones roaming about, heard from reliable sources that there was a hookup of a 100kg+ one.  Some have been also caught trolling lures.  Guys, please remember that the tuna season should be closed, and though, as far as I know, legal limits in Malta are either inexistent or not enforced, please use common sense when decideing whether to catch or release the fish. 

On another note, once the season will soon be opening, remeber that the "tunnagg" caught around FADs in the "lampuki" season is actually juvenile BFT.  I know that the scarsity of BFT is not due to the this, and the major culprit is the industrial fishing, but let us set an example and release them when we come accross them. 

At the moment, Malta has hardly started to regulate its recreational fishing sector, but its only a question of when more than if.  We, in recreational fishermen, will have to endure the same fate hunters have just been through.

Rob
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« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2008, 15:23:35 CET »

Rob, you make some valid points and yes catch and release especially of Tunagg is always a good idea. However the tuna season is there for commercial fishermen, specifically purse seiners and not for recreational fishing. It should be pointed out as Rio highlighted during his speech yesterday evening for the launch of their book, that trolling either with a handline (rixa) or with a rod is very selective and does not impact fishing stocks. When you troll you are targeting specific species based on lure size and type but the 30kgs min size for BFT only applies to commercial purse seiners (and maybe long liners though not sure).

If it's small <6kgs given the state of affairs then catch, quick photo and release is alwas nice and helps to sustain things, but anything over 8-10kgs is a sportfisherman's trophy. I was discussing with Charles Caruana yesterday (President of the KSFA), that given the depletion across the board of fish in our waters, it would be nice to us all to practice catch, photo and release of things like BFT and even Alungi especially when they are small. After all there's a limit to how much fish you can distribute between friends and family and I think we should always bear that in mind, given how the likes of Azzopardi Fisheries etc offer pittance if you manage to sell the fish to them.

Ultimately it's up to each of us to decide for the time being what they want to do, and it would be nice to do something like say I'm happy with 20-30kgs of fish on board, be that from 1 fish or 2-3 and anything over that I will release. With the exception of perhaps one trip per year for each species where you go for a maximum catch and then decide what you do with it; sell it to cover fuel costs, split between friends and/or donate to good causes etc.

Personally I like sportfishing, so I don't really view using thick nylon hand lines with jerry cans and stuff near fish farms to be sportfishing at all, you're trying to achieve one thing (get a big BFT on board), and whilst it is a succesful technique I don't do it. Personally I would much rather do something similar, drifting off a rod even knowing the chances of losing the fish or getting it tangled around the ropes securing the farms are high. Then again I'm not going to lecture those that do, but perhaps like I mentioned above, if we all restrict ourselves to once per year when it comes to 'fishfarm big game fishing' that will help sustainability a little.

The only real way to recover around our waters and even in the Med, is a complete Moratorium on fishing for 1-2 years, but thats unlikely to happen voluntarily and even if it was restricted to our 25nm fishing zone, sadly Malta doesn't have the resources to enforce it.

I personally feel that certain types of trawling, and nets with fine meshes should be the first to go due to their impact and effect of catching all types of small juvenile fish and I've noticed more and more surface long lines being deployed around the island even close to shore.

If we don't suffer the same fate as hunters, I reckon in our lifetime we're likely to suffer from no decent fish in our surrounding waters, and nowadays the amount of people out fishing with a boat has sky rocketed. It's a tough one to crack and get right; both commercial and recreational fishing vs sustainability of fish stocks.

However I remember reading an EU article somewhere discussing fishing restrictions and it clearly stated that fishing with a rod, of any type would always be excluded due to the minimal impact it places. I believe the focus will then be on other fishing techniques, trawling, nets, purse seines, long lines etc.
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rob1974
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« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2008, 07:23:36 CET »

With you at 95% Skip, I just do not agree with selling the fish to make up for the petrol costs.  This is a matter of opinion and the way we look at our passion.  My comments are only a personal opinion and I do not want in any way to try and "teach" anyone what to do and what not.

On another note, I think that we recrational fishermen can increase our impact on decisions by knowing the "turnover" we generate.  In a recent article on an italian magazine it was noted that for every kg of fish landed by a recreational fisherman, much more money is injected in the economy than when a fish is caught commercially (if I remember well it was about 6-7 times the amount - I stand to be corrected).  If we can make decision  makers aware of these figures, they surely cannot ignore what we represent to the economy.

Rob
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« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2008, 09:00:58 CET »

Nice, very nice. Was he at the fish farms or in open water?

Sorry for my late reply. Didn't manage to get photos but this morning I went with him and he caught another 2. ye they are catching them near the fishfarms and u see them pasing underneath ur boat and swallowing the kavalli. Weren't as big as last time but managed to take 3 photos of them. No clear since at 4.30am after just 3 hrs sleep I forgot to take dig camera with me. SO i had to to use my cellphone.

There were around 30 boats but I only so about 10tuna caught. At one point there were over 60 tuna jumping all around the place, almost in the boats. Very nice experience
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