facebook
twitter
search
search

881-pound bluefin tuna confiscated

Nov. 23, 2011 at 4:00 AM

NEW BEDFORD, Mass., Nov. 23 (UPI) -- A Massachusetts fishing boat owner said his crew caught an 881-pound bluefin tuna, but it was confiscated by authorities because they used a net.

Carlos Rafael of New Bedford, owner of the 76-foot steel dragger Apollo said he was ecstatic when his crew caught the massive fish in their trawl gear while fishing offshore and he quickly called a hot line maintained by fishery regulators to report the catch, The (New Bedford) Standard Times reported Tuesday.

Rafael said he purchased 15 tuna permits in recent years in case any of his boats ensnared a tuna, so he was shocked when he returned to shore and the fish was confiscated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of Law Enforcement.

The fishing boat owner said agents told him the rules do not allow for bluefin tuna to be caught with nets.

"They said it had to be caught with rod and reel," Rafael said. "We didn't try to hide anything. We did everything by the book. Nobody ever told me we couldn't catch it with a net."

Authorities said no charges have been filed in the case and it is likely Rafael will receive only a warning.

Bluefin tuna is highly valued in Japan, with a 754-pound catch selling for nearly $396,000 at a Tokyo auction in January.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Hammerhead shark bumps boat motor off Florida coast
Tourist's Brooklyn Bridge climb selfie sparks security questions
Vlogger shoots iPhones to determine bullet-stopping capabilities
74.8-inch Illinois cow posthumously named tallest ever by Guinness
British festival launches egg 21.7 miles toward space