Galway anglers take part in catch and release programme to study Atlantic bluefin tuna

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Anglers in Galway are taking part in a catch, tag and release programme to help Irish and international scientists learn more about the Atlantic bluefin tuna.

Bluefin is an iconic sports angling species and can grow up to 680 kilograms.

Under the Tuna CHART programme, recreational anglers on board two authorised charter vessels in Galway will be catching bluefin tuna and skippers will be tagging and releasing them back into the sea, alive, from July to November this year.

The data collected on board authorised vessels will then be used for scientific assessment to improve knowledge of population structures, fish size and how bluefin tuna is distributed in Irish waters and throughout the North Atlantic.

Migrating through North Atlantic waters, bluefin tuna frequent Irish coastal waters to feed.

Under strictly-controlled conditions, 685 bluefin tuna were caught, tagged, measured and released through the Tuna CHART programme in 2020.

Now in its third year, the programme involves a collaboration between Inland Fisheries Ireland and the Marine Institute in partnership with the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Department for Environment, Climate and Communications.

The authorised vessels operate out of ports in Cleggan and Rossaveal with others based in Donegal, Sligo, Clare, Cork and Waterford.