Mass. fishermen snare 881-pound tuna, feds take it

November 22, 2011 - 12:25 PM

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) — It's the big one that got taken away.

Massachusetts fishing boat owner Carlos Rafael was elated recently when one of his trawlers snared an 881-pound tuna.

The Standard-Times of New Bedford reports (http://bit.ly/uczYap) the tuna was likely inadvertently snagged as Rafael's crew set a net to catch bottom-dwellers. Federal fishery enforcement agents seized the fish when the crew returned to port.

Rafael had tuna permits, but was told catching tuna with a net is illegal. They must instead be caught with hook and line.

A fish that big is hugely valuable — a 754pound tuna recently sold for nearly $396,000.

Rafael's fish will be sold overseas. He will likely get a warning and no share of the proceeds if regulators find a violation.

Rafael might give up his tuna permits, saying they're apparently worthless.

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Information from: The Standard-Times, http://www.southcoasttoday.com