Tuna Focus 2016

Atlantic bluefin tuna research seeks to unlock the mysteries of the migrators

by Walt Golet

PORTLAND, ME –  So June 1 has come and gone, which means bluefin tuna season is here.

While many of us are familiar with the migratory patterns of bluefin tuna that bring them to the Gulf of Maine each summer to feed, some of the more interesting secrets about their life history – growth, age and stock structure, foraging, energetics, migratory patterns – still remain unresolved.

These aspects of bluefin life history are critical to understand the bluefin tuna population and manage it effectively across the entire Atlantic.

For decades, US bluefin tuna fishermen have understood the importance of collaborative research and have led the way with cutting edge research directed at furthering our understanding for these critical life history parameters.

Recently, the broader Atlantic community also recognized those research needs, and beginning…

US bluefin tuna season underway as ICCAT meets to discuss assessments and data analysis, toward setting 2017 quotas

MADRID, SPAIN – The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) Bluefin Tuna Species (BFT) Group will hold its intersessional meeting July 25-29 at the secretariat offices in Madrid to discuss data needs and review existing data in preparation for the 2017 stock assessment.

The secretariat concluded in June that although there have been two data preparatory meetings, the Standing Committee for Research and Statistics will not be able to perform a stock assessment in 2016.

This is the second time the BFT stock assessment has been delayed.

In 2014, the scheduled assessment was delayed due to a lack of resources to prepare new data acquired under the Atlantic-wide Research Programme for Bluefin Tuna (GBYP) and conduct an update assessment…


Tightline Tackle’s Dave Mason: he’s paid his dues 

WALPOLE, ME – When Dave Mason talks to you about what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to catching tuna, he’s not reeling off a memorized sales spiel from a glossy flyer.

The man’s been there and caught his share of fish.

Some of them single-handedly.

And he’s still doing it (while running Tightlines Tackle Co. in Walpole, ME with his wife Margaret), with his 74th birthday on the horizon at the end of this year.

The thing is, Dave Mason didn’t receive his saltwater baptism until the early 1980s, when he bought a boat and went fishing for the first time … at the age of 40.

Why does a 40-year-old man move from central Maine down to the coast and buy a 37’ REPCO?

“I don’t know … seemed like a good idea at the time,” says Dave Mason with a pretty darn straight face.

Dave made a deal with…


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