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Tuna champions caring for prized catch

by Emma Webster 23 Aug 08:02 UTC

Recreational game fishers in Portland will be encouraged to properly handle their Southern bluefin tuna catch as part of the national Tuna Champions campaign.

Minister for Fishing and Boating Jaala Pulford joined members of the Portland Sports Fishing Club to announce a $5,000 grant to spread the 'Care for your Tuna catch' message to visiting sport fishers from across the country.

The grant is funded through the Andrews Labor Government's $35 million Target One Million plan to get more people fishing, more often.

The Government will also partner with the Glenelg Shire Council to host the 'Hooked on Portland' event over the Australia Day long weekend next year, which celebrates recreational fishing and what it means to the region.

Recreational fishing for Southern bluefin tuna in Victoria's southwest is worth around $12 million to the local economy and provides a massive boost to small businesses in the tourism, boating, accommodation and tackle industries.

Campaigns like this help to educate fishers with the small things they can do to make a big difference on the water.

Tips for proper handling of bluefin tuna include reducing the fight time, gutting, bleeding and icing the catch immediately, using single hooks rather than trebles on lures, and taking great photos of tuna quickly if destined for release.

Minister for Fishing and Boating Jaala Pulford said:

"We're backing the Tuna Champions campaign for sustainable fishing because we recognise how significant this game fish is to recreational fishers and dependent businesses."

"Being a tuna champion is all about knowing and respecting what you're catching - this grant will help people fishing in Portland do the right thing with their Southern bluefin tuna."

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