Memo from NZSFC regarding Southern Bluefin Tuna

Hello Clubs, Delegates and Committees

The southern bluefin tuna are turning up in numbers already and a number of clubs will be asked to weigh fish for members and non-members. Please encourage fishers to report and weigh their catch as this helps track the development of this fishery and provide better estimates of recreational landed catch.

LegaSea has produced a FishCare guide (attached) to help people keep landed bluefin in top condition or have the best chance of survival if they are released. As a result, more people are processing their fish at sea and these are not being weighed and recorded. It is important that the Council can report the total number of southern bluefin tuna caught by private fishers with some confidence.

When people bring fish in, we need weigh masters to ask fishers for the number of SBT caught but not weighed that trip. This can be recorded as a comment on a weigh sheet or a separate record with the estimated weight or measured length, date and boat name (to ensure they are not double counted). There may not be many, but at least we can answer the question about what we have done to record unweighed fish.

If you hear of other boats with unweighed fish that don’t come to the club, this would also be worth recording. Please ensure that someone is responsible for keeping track of these reports. John Holdsworth will be asking clubs for their catch records and unweighed data in mid-August.

For all non-weighed fish, we ask that people complete a catch card with a length measurement only then return that catch card to their club, as they would for a weighed catch, for recording purposes.

Some people have been asking about the catch of Pacific bluefin at this time of year. Attached is a bluefin tuna ID Guide for the club and weighmasters.

Thanks for your help with this
Regards

Bob Gutsell
President
New Zealand Sport Fishing Council