Huge €3m tuna caught off Cork coast, but fishermen released it back into the sea

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Huge €3m tuna caught off Cork coast, but fishermen released it back into the sea

A team of Irish fishermen caught a monster 600lb bluefin tuna off the coast of Cork.

The giant fish had an estimated value of an eye-watering €3m, although the men will not see a penny as they released the beast back into the ocean.

Dave Edwards was the skilled fisherman who managed to land the rare giant. He is working as part of the ‘catch and release’ programme aimed at establishing population numbers of the fish in the north-east Atlantic.

He spoke to the Echo Live about the incredible catch. Edwards explained: “They are much more common up in Donegal Bay where they follow the herring.

“They are more unusual down here but tend to be much bigger when they do show up. This is the first one caught south of Donegal Bay this year and it really was a big fish.”

The huge fish is one of the largest caught in Irish waters in recent years. It was so large it had to be measured in the water before being tagged and released.

The giant bluefin tuna weighed in at a whopping 600 lbs and measured eight and a half feet in length.

That is towards the upper end of how large bluefin tunas grow anywhere in the world, let alone off the Irish coastline.

Edwards was helped by his colleagues Corkman Darren O’Sullivan and Dutchman Henk Veldman in landing the catch.

The catch and release programme runs from August to October and sees fishermen catch, tag and release numerous fish to get a better understanding of population levels so that overfishing can be avoided.

Bluefin tend to spawn in the Mediterranean and then head north along the western waters of Europe. In recent years the numbers have declined rapidly and commercial fishing is strictly regulated.

Edwards continued: “It’s getting close to the end of the season so we were beginning to lose hope that we would see any.

“Then on Sunday we had a huge fish on the reel that must have been closer to 10 feet in length but after a two and a half hours it got away. We knew they were out there then though and so it turned out when we managed to tag this one.”

The bluefin tuna is one of the largest and most powerful fish in the sea and catching such a beast requires specialist equipment.

In Japan, Bluefin tuna is considered a delicacy, and an individual fish can sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars, even millions.

The story brings to mind an episode of The Young Offenders, which sees Cork youngsters Conor and Jock attempt to steal a valuable bluefin tuna, to sell and give the money to their Mam.

You will have to watch the episode to see how the lads did, but as you may expect, it didn’t exactly go according to plan.