While there is no sport or commercial fishery for Bluefin tuna in Ireland, authorisations are being granted for 22 charter angling vessels to participate in Tuna CHART (Catch and Release Tagging) a Bluefin Tuna Data Collection Programme. The programme will see 22 authorised skippers catch, tag, measure and release Atlantic Bluefin tuna for data collection purposes off the Irish coast.
The authorised vessels, which are located in Cork, Clare, Galway, Sligo and Donegal will support an international scientific programme to increase knowledge of the behaviour and abundance of Bluefin Tuna in Irish waters and across its distribution generally.
The new programme, which has been developed by 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 Communications, Climate Action and Environment, will operate again in 2020 having commenced on a pilot basis in 2019.
The Sea Fisheries Protection Authority and Inland Fisheries Ireland will undertake inspections and patrols around the coast to ensure this remains a strictly controlled programme. Anglers wishing to engage in this programme must only do so on a sea angling vessel specifically authorised to participate in the pilot programme. Any person engaging in fishing for Bluefin Tuna on any vessel which is not appropriately authorised will be in breach of the Sea-Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction (Bluefin Tuna) Regulations 2019 (S.I. No. 265 of 2019).
A full list of authorised skippers can be found at https://fishinginireland.info/sea/bluefin-tuna-fishing/.