Rules Governing Bluefin Tuna in Ireland
The Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) has released updated information in relation to the recreational catches of Bluefin tuna in Ireland. European fisheries regulations governing the catching, landing and sale of Bluefin tuna states that unless a Member State has specifically assigned a portion of their annual national quota to sports and recreational fisheries to target these fish no such fishing can take place.
EU annual fisheries quotas designate no national Bluefin tuna quota to Ireland and while commercial fishing vessels targeting the smaller albacore tuna in the summer fishery can avail of incidental by-catch under a shared European by-catch provision, in Ireland and for Irish fishers, no directed fishery for Bluefin Tuna, even by means of sea-angling is permitted.
Susan Steele, Chair of the SFPA said: “Ireland does not have a direct fishery for Bluefin Tuna in Ireland. Ireland does have a 1% by catch of Bluefin Tuna as part of the Northern Albacore fishery. The vessels that partake in the Northern Albacore fishery must obtain a specific fishing authorisation from the Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine. For anyone engaged in sports or recreational sea angling this means that if a Bluefin Tuna is caught while sea angling it has to be immediately released as the fish cannot be targeted or landed by an Irish boat.'