A HUGE 600lbs bluefin tuna said to be worth around £2.7million has been caught off the coast of Ireland.
Three lucky anglers from Cork, Ireland, caught the fish which was more than 8ft long on Sunday.
It is said to be largest fish caught by Irish fishermen this year and is so highly valued because it is seen as a delicacy in Japan.
In January this year a Japanese sushi boss forked out nearly £2.5m for a bluefin tuna at auction in Tokyo.
Dave Edwards from West Cork Charters made the catch with his pals around three miles south of Courtmacsherry, about 30 miles south-west of Cork.
The fishermen landed the fish as part of an ongoing catch and release programme as a way of establishing population numbers in the Atlantic.
CATCH AND RELEASE
But instead of selling the fish, Edwards, along with Darren O’Sullivan and Henk Veldman, celebrated their catch before tagging it and releasing it back into the sea.
Mr Edwards told the Irish Mirror: “They are much more common up in Donegal Bay where they follow the herring.
“They are more unusual down here but tend to be much bigger when they do show up.
“This is the first one caught south of Donegal Bay this year and it really was a big fish.”
Mr Edwards’ vessel is one of 15 ships taking part in the programme along the west coast of Ireland which runs from August 15 to October 15.
All varieties of the bluefin tuna are highly-prized delicacies around the world but are particularly sort after in Japan where they are used for sushi and sahimi.
The Atlantic variety can weigh up to around 900kg and are targeted for the Japanese raw-fish markets.
Around 80 per cent of those caught in the Atlantic and Pacific are consumed in Japan.
Due to their cost they have been severely overfished in recent years.
In October 2009 the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas said stocks and declined dramatically over the last 40 years.
It found that stocks had fallen by 72 per cent in the Eastern Atlantic and by 82 per cent in the Western Atlantic.
Mr Edwards said: “It’s getting close to the end of the season so we were beginning to lose hope that we would see any.
“Then on Sunday we had a huge fish on the reel that must have been closer to ten feet but after two-and-a-half hours it got away.
“We knew they were out there then though and so it turned out when we managed to tag this one.”
Fishermen caught two huge sharks about seven miles off the coast from Portland, Dorset, in July this year.
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One of the porbeagle sharks, a relative of the Great White, measured 8ft long and weighed 21 stone while the other was thought to weigh more than 14 stone.
In April last year West Country fishermen caught a giant 22-stone shark off the coast of Hartland Point in Devon.
The female porbeagle measured 8ft long.
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