Mon, Apr 17, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Suao-registered boat catches first bluefin tuna of the season

FIRST-TIME WINNER:The captain of the lucky boat, Lee Chien-sheng, said that in his 36-year career he had never before caught the first bluefin tuna of the year

Staff writer, with CNA

The first bluefin tuna of the year, caught by a Suao-registered fishing boat, is brought to shore in Yilan County yesterday.

Photo courtesy of Lee Chien-sheng

A Suao-registered fishing boat yesterday landed a bluefin tuna weighing 208kg which was later confirmed as the first bluefin tuna of the year, as it was still alive when caught, the Suao Fishermen’s Association reported yesterday.

The highly coveted fish is expected to fetch about NT$1 million (US$32,626) at an auction scheduled for tomorrow, based on the NT$4,000 to NT$5,000 per kilogram auction price that the first bluefin tuna of the season reached over the past few years, association president Chen Chun-sheng (陳春生) said.

Chen said that a fishing boat caught a bluefin tuna weighing 240kg on Friday, but it did not qualify as the first bluefin tuna of the year because it was dead when it was brought onto the boat.

A bluefin tuna can only qualify as the first catch of the year if it comes from the North Pacific, is alive when caught and weighs at least 180kg, Chen said.

This was the second consecutive year the first bluefin tuna has been caught by Yilan fishermen, whose boats on average catch about 500 to 600 per year each, Chen said.

Yilan fishermen usually compete with their counterparts in Pingtung to catch the first bluefin of the year, he added.

The captain of the lucky boat, Lee Chien-sheng (李建盛) said that in his 36-year career he had never before caught the first bluefin tuna of the year.

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