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  • Dec 22, 2014
  • Updated: 9:49am
NewsHong Kong

Hong Kong anglers reel in 226kg Pacific blue marlin in South China Sea

A Pacific blue marlin reeled in by six Hong Kong men may be among the biggest caught locally

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 07 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 07 July, 2013, 5:29am

A 3.6-metre-long, 226kg Pacific blue marlin reeled in by six amateur deep-sea anglers south of Hong Kong has been described as a "once in a lifetime'' catch by an expert.

It may be among the biggest of the species ever caught in the South China Sea.

The fish took six Hong Kong-based hedge fund traders 3½ hours to reel in aboard their boat, Warbird, 65 nautical miles due south of Aberdeen.

Kim Stuart of the Mandarin Sports Fishing Club said there had been no reports of a blue marlin catch in local waters for at least 15 years.

The team of fishermen, skippered by David Tuthill, 31, caught it last Sunday in perfect weather conditions near the Dongsha Islands.

"It was a constant team effort between the driver of the boat, the angler and the team helping around you," said Tuthill of the battle to get the fish on board.

He said he could not have landed the marlin without the help of his fellow fishermen Brad Ainslie, 35, Greg Moore, 31, Andrew Bazarian, 41, Dan Shepherd, 31 and Carl Vine, 36. The fish had died by the time they landed it, Ainslie said.

Australia-based billfish expert Dr Julian Pepperell, author of Fishes of the Open Ocean, confirmed from photo evidence that the financiers had hooked a blue marlin, and described it as a once-in-a-lifetime catch.

Like its Atlantic cousin, the Pacific blue marlin is "phenomenally powerful" and puts up "incredible fights", he said. "On a number of occasions they will die fighting all the way through."

Dr Pepperell said the catch was all the more unusual because the fish was outside its favoured habitat in cooler, less deep waters.

Stuart, a 26-year veteran of the Hong Kong fishing community said: "It's extremely rare. They generally prowl 48 degrees north [of Hong Kong] and 48 degrees south so to be this far north is quite a way out of it's normal range ," he said.

Stuart believes the catch could help boost interest in fishing in Hong Kong.

According to figures provided by the International Game Fishing Association, the marlin would have been worth US$10,000.

The world record for a blue marlin was last set in 1982 when a couple caught a 4.9-metre, 624kg fish off Hawaii.


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This article is now closed to comments

I was on a boat that hooked a marlin less than 25 miles off Po Toi island in HK waters 2 years ago..... the guy fought it for over 4 hours before the line broke and it got away.
For those who don't know (and judging by some of the ignorance displayed in previous comments many clearly don't), the standard practice for a fish of this size is to tag and release.
Anything too small gets chucked back in.
And anything else caught is eaten. So yeah, it's probably one of the most sustainable ways of eating fishing (and having fun while you catch it).
First they "caught" our money - now they go for rare fish... Shame, shame, shame!
Friederich, you are just plain ignorant.
Without reading the title of the article or map, by just looking at the photo, I would have thought this was taken in Miami, Florida. Woo... incredible.
Can you cut off the fins for some traditional soup?
Bet that steams up Charlie "sharkfin" Lim of the MPA because a fish was caught in a sporting manner, with rod and reel, AND by a bunch of g_wei_los!!
LOL, don't you love it when annoying animal right activists and environmentalists jumping to say, save the world. Animals are there to serve humans and there is no such things as extinction of buffalos, elephants, lions etc... if these guys ever visited Asia or Africa to see them in real not from reading newspapers. Blue marlins were everywhere in Indonesia water, when I was swimming in the ocean, they kept coming to poke on my feet.
Blue Marlin is listed as "Vulnerable" with stocks declining between 31-38%. If fished then need to be able to ensure that you can tag and release. Would be better if we didn't hunt them at all. IUCN listing can be found ****www.iucnredlist.org/details/170314/0
Big game hunting for sport of the big five, lions, buffalo, leopards, elephant, rhinoceros, has pretty much disappeared. When will our attitudes change towards sea creatures, that are every bit as magnificent (if maybe not as cuddly)

Biggest killer of all is the fishing industry, but that doesn't mean that we cannot all take individual responsibility and make the right choice.
What sort of a "sport" or "hobby" is this? Can these people do something to preserve our planet and work on sustainability instead? This is really unfair not just for the fish, but for our next generation. I take it these people do not have any kids.
Yeah, the bigger the fish or the longer the fish had lived, the higher the concentration of substances of various kinds in its body. These substances are usually bad things such as heavy metals and toxins. This equally true for the reason why researchers warned about the consumption of shark fins since shark fins may also accumulate a lot of 'things' due to sharks' long life (well may not be the case perhaps).



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