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Shoals of bluefin tuna sighted to north of Guernsey

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SHOALS of bluefin tuna have been sighted in Channel Island waters.

A still of bluefin tuna taken from a video shot Mark Guppy while searching for pelagic sea birds, whales and dolphins in the Hurd Deep.

Islander Mark Guppy encountered ‘hundreds’ of the tuna, which are rarely seen in the English Channel, during a recent boat trip to the Hurd Deep.

‘Eight of us were out on Richard Keen’s [skipper of the Margaret K charter] boat on our autumn pelagic trip to Hurd Deep, north-west of Guernsey, in search of pelagic seabirds and whales, dolphins etc.,’ he said.

‘We use a fish mixture to entice birds when out there, we often look for a concentration of gannets circling which means dolphins might be feeding on smaller fish beneath them.

‘When we reached them there was a lot of splashing on the calm sea, then, to my surprise, a bluefin tuna breached right next to the boat, then 200 or so others which were on a feeding frenzy. There was also anther shoal feeding at the same time half a mile away.’

Bluefin tuna are native to both the western and eastern Atlantic Ocean, as well as the Mediterranean Sea.

Mr Guppy said it was the first time he had seen them in waters around Guernsey.

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