TV3 News
Tue, 20 September 2011

A recreational fisherman got a 300 kilogram surprise when he put his line out near Westport.The Pacific Bluefin tuna would have been worth around a $100,000 on the Japanese market, but is instead destined for plates much closer to home.

The fish was not what Jeremy Walker expected to find when he headed out for a spot of casual fishing. “These things are totally different to any other fish, pretty unreal though,” he says.

He hooked the 305-point-8 kilogram Pacific Bluefin tuna off the coast of Westport. Just 25 kilograms short of the world record, it took the whole crew nearly two hours to haul it in. “There were five of us on the boat, it's a combined effort, they slip in fairly easily,” says boat owner David Donald. Bluefin tuna are often found in West Coast waters, where they feed on hoki being caught by commercial fishermen. “The tuna congregate around these trawlers, [so we] put a good hook on it,” says Mr Donald.

The fish are highly sought after in Japan, with one selling for a record $483,000 dollars earlier this year. But Mr Walker won't be making any money from his - it's going straight onto his plate, where it will be swallowed hook, line, and sinker.

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Listen to David Donald talking to radio host Paul Henry »