In Norway only one vessel was allowed to fish for bluefin tuna. The vessel «Hillersøy» spotted a lot of bluefin tuna off the coast of Norway in September 2016, but missed a lot of opportunities. Finally, at the 16th of September they managed to surround the shoal with the purse seine. The video (seen below) shows how it was done, and this is the first time since the 1980’s we can see a Norwegian fishing vessel hunt for bluefine tuna in Norwegian waters.
The film is provided by the inspector from the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research, mr. Øyvind Tangen. In addition there was an inspector from ICCAT on board.
The film shown below is recordet off the coast of Norway around 1970. Only adult bluefin tuna migrated to Norwegian waters in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The mean weight grew bigger year by year and in 1970 it was common to catch tuna weighing from 270 – 310 kilogram. A film of tuna fishing in 1967 shows slightly smaller fish (250 – 290 kilogram). The stock of bluefin tuna migrating northwards was fished down year by year till the last giant tuna was caught in 1986.
The giant tuna – bluefin tuna – once was a common fish along the Norwegian coast. Every summer large schools of bluefin tuna entered the coast. From 1950 this became an important fishery for Norwegian purse seiners. The film shown below shows a Norwegian fishing vessel named «Speranza» on the fishing grounds in 1967.
In 1986 the last school of bluefin tuna was surrounded by a Norwegian purse seine. Today the bluefin tuna is endangered – suffering from the pressure of commercial interests all over the world. Norway has a quota, but the Norwegian Department of Fishery has stated that Norway will not fish bluefin tuna until the stock is managed in a responsible way and in accordance with the advice and recommendations given by scientists.
Norway is familiar with overfishing, but the nation has learned by mistakes done in the past. Hopefully the bluefin tuna some day again will find its way northwards to the feeding areas along the Norwegian coast.