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WHO SLEW THE CORNISH GIANT?

Pix show the girls with the Bluefin at Rame and fishermen with blue fin tuna caught at the mouth of the Helford at the turn of the Century.

Experts are trying to work out what killed a giant bluefin tuna that washed up on a Cornish beach

The 2.19 metre Atlantic blue fin tuna was washed into shallow water on Kingsands beach on Cornwall’s Rame Peninsula

But no-one knows yet how or why it died. The fish’s stomach was empty and it had no visible injuries.

The fish was found floating off Rame by Sarah Little, from Tunbridge Wells.

She was kayaking with friends.

Sarah told her local paper in Kent: “We hadn’t been kayaking for long at all, we probably were about 100m out when we saw something floating on the bottom of the sea.
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“We were all saying ‘no, you go look at it’ because we thought it might have been a shark.

“Charlotte and Laura jumped out of their boat and started trying to move it with their paddle but realised it was dead.”

Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Matt Slater explained: “This Atlantic bluefin’s exact cause of death is a mystery.

“Its stomach was empty and there are no other signs that could suggest how it died – maybe the post mortem will reveal more.”

The fish is being dissected and examined at the University of Exeter’s Environmental Sustainability Institute at Penryn.

It’s possible it has high levels of mercury and PCBs in its flesh: Bluefin live for up to forty years and often attract high levels of toxins.

That doesn’t stop them being prized in Japan for Sushi…your average caught Bluefin is worth hundred of thousands of pounds.

The first catch of the year routinely fetches up to a million.

But the extraordinary fish is equally valued by conservationists and animal lovers.

Matt told CCN: ’Bluefin tuna are one of the world’s most incredible creatures.

“They’re built for speed they can travel thousands of miles each year.

“Time was they were regularly found in our waters. In the North Sea between 1950 and 1960 they supported a fishery consisting of 200 boats.

“Fishing levels are still high and conservationists believe this species has been brought to the verge of extinction in the last 50 years.

“Large scale global fishing has resulted in a collapse of their stocks. There’s been a 90% decline in Atlantic bluefin tuna stocks since 1970’s.

A total of 26 records of tuna being found in our waters have been made to the Environmental Records Centre for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly since the late 1800’s

‘We hope this is a good sign and one day blue fin tuna will once again be a common sight around our coasts.

“The stranding of this fish shows how fascinating and varied Cornwall’s marine life is.

“Cornwall is at an oceanic crossroads, where warm Lusitanian currents meet cooler northern waters, bringing us a huge diversity of marine species, so you never know what will be seen next.”

Cornwall Wildlife Trust has a 24 hour manned hotline for marine strandings that you can ring 0345 2012626.

To record sightings of live animals visit www.orks.org.uk.

Did you know?

Bluefin swim at up to 62 miles per hour

They never stop swimming

They rely on ram ventilation to keep their blood oxygenated.

Most fish are cold blooded – but bluefin tuna are both hot and cold blooded: they can regulate their internal body temperature, which ensures their muscles operate at maximum efficiency

Bluefin tuna are extremely streamlined

They’re predatory animals which feed on smaller fish such as herring, sardine and mackerel.

They can live for up to 40 years

Bluefin are the largest of the tuna family

They can grow up to a massive 4.5 meters in length and weigh up to 680kg – nearly ¾ of a tonne!



Posted by on July 17, 2014. Filed under MARITIME NEWSDESK,NEWS,WILD. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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