You should have seen the ones that got away...

TWO French fishermen working off the south-west coast of Jersey got a surprise – when they caught 44 bluefin tuna.

The tuna ready to be auctioned in Granville. Picture: Poissonerie Fresil Marée
The tuna ready to be auctioned in Granville. Picture: Poissonerie Fresil Marée

The fish, which are rarely seen in the Island’s waters, weighed between 50 and 120 kg and were brought ashore at the nearby port of Granville to be sold.

Normandy newspaper La Manche Libre reported that the tuna were caught by two commercial vessels that were pair-trawling for bream west of the Minquiers.

Mick Ward, owner of the Mr Fish tackle shop, said that the species – which prefer more southerly waters – are now gradually moving further north towards the Channel Islands and the UK.

‘You do hear about them every now and then, but to catch them in that quantity is very odd,’ he said.

‘West of the Minquiers is quite a large area but they tend to be caught near Roches-Douvres, if they ever turn up.

‘There are videos of them swimming around people’s boats, usually between Jersey and Guernsey. Recently, someone told me they saw a really big fish off St Catherine’s Pier and that it was definitely not a dolphin and looked like a tuna.’

Mr Ward added that the fish were now being more frequently caught in the Bay of Biscay on the west coast of France.

‘They never used to fish for Tuna in the Bay of Biscay, but you can now charter a boat there just to go out fishing for them. That is only on the other side of Brest, so it is really not that far,’ he said.

‘If they do come up this far, they will probably be seen more out in the Channel – around Guernsey and Alderney – we are a bit too far inside the Bay of Granville.’

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