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Astounded Irish Fisherman Explains About His Bluefin Catch Ireland, August 3, 12

Tom Kennedy landed the titanic 308lb beast with the help of trawlers Fiona 2 and Ocean Venture 90km off the coast of Dingle earlier this week.

And if he’d been able to freeze it within 20 minutes of the catch, he could have retired on the proceeds.

The scaly monster would fetch up to €500,000 for sushi in Japan, but will only earn a paltry couple of hundred euro in the Co Kerry village.


Tom Kennedy with his monster catch

The director of Dingle Oceanworld Kevin Flannery said: “It would be like winning the lotto. Bluefin tuna is the most expensive commercially caught fish. It is the ultimate sushi. One went for almost €600,000 in Japan in January. The fish hooked off the coast of Dingle this week is of a similar size. It’s the size of a bullock, almost six feet in length. ”

He said the fish can’t be shipped to Japanese sushi bars because it has to be frozen at a special temperature.

He said: “It would be worth no value to have to get it to Japan, the way they like their sushi. It would have to be frozen to 56°C within about 20 minutes of being caught.”

Japan consumes 80 per cent of Atlantic and Pacific bluefins caught. They’re loved there for their tender red meat, with the best slices of fatty bluefin selling for as much as €35 a sliver in the Land of the Rising Sun.

But Mr Flannery said customers were in for a real treat in Dingle this week as they tuck into the most prized commercial fish on the planet.

He said: “It will be for sale this week in Dingle fish shops and restaurants. It should only make a few hundreds euro in Ireland.”

And, although the fish has become an endangered species and is protected, he blasted ‘ludicrous’ EU regulations for Irish fishermen.

He added: “Under EU regulations they’d have to throw this fish back into the sea whether it was dead or alive, if it was more than one per cent over their quota for the year.