• Thu
  • Jul 24, 2014
  • Updated: 3:15pm
NewsHong Kong
FISHING

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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22

This article is now closed to comments

Carparklee
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).
Carparklee
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.
aplucky1
maybe these idiots can follow this up with hunting down some pandas
joyoung
Is this 2013 or 1813?
KwunTongBypass
Can you cut off the fins for some traditional soup?
jandajel
This is something to be proud of? The species is so rare in these parts that no examples have been caught in 15 years. That tells me it is at least a threatened, if not endangered, species locally that should be protected, not hunted. Way to go guys! If this does stimulate more local interest in sport fishing, ocal waters will be all fished out and no more of these will be caught, ever. Clap! Clap!
hankt
As you obviously don't know what you are talkiing about and don't wish to do any of your own research, I'll help you: the author missed the point as the blue marlin is only rare in waters this shallow.
Hong Kong and China fisherman have already purged the waters here of most fish species. In contrast, those of us that are recreational anglers always try to put billfish back in the water unharmed.
If you want to be mad at something, go find bigfishboat dot com and look at the fish kills executed by "sport" fisherman as they keep everything they catch.
dod_od
The question, was the trophy hunt and the killing of a magnificent animal, worth the "glory" that the SCMP has bestowed on these "sportsmen".
The SCMP has missed the boat here and should have reported on whether this was is a responsible hobby.
bluefirestorm
The people involved probably already posted their videos/photos on their Facebook/Instagram/YouTube accounts or what not of their "spectacular" weekend. So does SCMP really have to publish this "story"?
I don't recall SCMP doing extra reporting work showing the photos/publicising the names of the fishermen involved catching giant tunas that were auctioned off in Tsukiji fish market that was bought into Hong Kong restaurants.
chaz_hen
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!!

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