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Bluefin tuna fishing ban to stay

News | Published:

THERE are no plans to lift the ban on fishing for Atlantic bluefin tuna in Bailiwick waters.

Bluefin tuna (28072095)

A spokesman for Guernsey Sea Fisheries said the fish was recognised as an endangered species, but there had been more frequent sightings of them in UK and Channel Island waters as they move into coastal areas to feed.

There is pressure to open up the fishery.

The current situation is that neither commercial (through licence conditions) nor recreational fishing (from fishing legislation) for them is permitted in Bailiwick waters.

This is the same as the situation in UK waters. There are no plans to review or change the situation in respect of bluefin tuna.

‘Comprehensive conservation legislation is in development locally which will be comparable to the Jersey law and, if approved and in force, will give broad powers to protect species and habitats in the sea and on the land,’ he said.

Forthcoming changes to the Conservation of Wildlife (Jersey) Law 2000 mean any catching of Atlantic bluefin tuna in the island’s waters will be banned by the end of the year.

Jersey fishermen have called for the high-value stock to be opened up commercially due to more frequent sightings of the species.

Currently French crews can fish for the species within Jersey’s three- to 12- mile limit waters because France has a quota to catch the fish.

UK charter vessels can also access the species in the same area. Under proposed changes to the law, this would be banned.

Nigel Baudains

By Nigel Baudains

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