The Southern Bluefin Tuna (thunnus maccoyii) is a rare species these days. It used to be found throughout the southern hemisphere, primarily around Australia. Because of the proximity of its home waters to the Japanese markets, it has been the target of intense commercial fishing since the 50s. Today, the species is considered critically endangered and overfished with estimates that the biomass is only about 15% of what it once was.

The fish is under a highly restricted management plan that still allows both commercial and recreational catches. Catches are rare, making the recent catch of a 90kg (200 lbs.) off New South Wales, Australia a significant achievement. Read the details of this catch in this article from the Narooma News.

southernBFTIn a catch not heard of for many years, a large southern bluefin tuna was hooked inside of Montague Island on Monday morning.

An epic battle ensued with Bermagui local Dick Brown on board his 36’ Blackwatch game boat Reel Weapon battling the tuna for around five hours.

Watching it all unfold was Les Bernstein of Melbourne fishing on board his mate’s boat Thunnus II.

Les who owns the HD Video Camera Sunglasses company that builds sunglasses mounted with cameras filmed it all and we hope to get some of the footage soon.

He said Monday lunch time, the tuna had not been weighed but was probably around the 100kg mark.

It was hooked by the crew on Reel Weapon on the Narooma side of the island on a pusher-style skirt lure meant for the big kingfish making a show at the island over recent weeks.

Photos: Bermi Bait & Tackle (top); AAP (above)