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She really needs a bigger boat! Nine-year-old schoolgirl lands 400 pounds of bluefin tuna worth £70,000 (but has to throw it back)
- Izzy Crotty (9) dragged in a monster fish that was more than five times her own weight
- The schoolgirl, from Crediton, Devon, found the specimen off the coast of Plymouth
- Bluefin tuna is a much sought-after delicacy in Japan, but a protected species in the UK
A nine-year-old girl has landed a monster bluefin tuna that is more than five times her own weight and worth 70,000 pounds.
Izzy Crotty battled the 400lb fish that was so strong she had to attach her rod to the boat to avoid being pulled in.
The schoolgirl spent 30 minutes retrieving the huge specimen with the help of her father, John, 20 miles off the coast of Plymouth, Devon.
Catch of the Day: Izzy Crotty, 9, landed a 400lb bluefin tuna off the coast of Plymouth, Devon
Bluefin tuna is a much sought-after delicacy in Japan, where it is known to sell for £175 a pound.
That would have made Izzy’s fish worth a whopping £70,000.
But it’s illegal in the UK to kill the protected fish, which was once an endangered species, so Izzy was happy to let it go.
Under a new government initiative, fishermen are allowed to catch and label bluefin tuna for scientific purposes before they are released.
Izzy was aboard a charter boat called Fortuna, one of 25 ships allowed to participate in the tagging scheme, known as CHART, which was introduced last year.
It gives anglers a three-month period from August to November to experience the once-in-a-lifetime thrill of catching big game fish that would otherwise require them to travel to the Caribbean.
Since bluefin tuna became protected, the waters off England’s south west coast have seen a resurgence of the monstrous big game species and are now considered a ‘world class’ fishery for them.
Izzy’s father, John, a farmer from Crediton, Devon, said they “yawned” when they saw the size of the fish.
The 35-year-old father of three said: “It was only Izzy’s second outing and this was the first fish.
Izzy’s dad John Crotty said they both ‘yawned’ when they saw the size of the bluefin tuna
“We were about 20 miles away. Izzy was all set to go with the rod holder.
“The fish started out pretty slow and then it started running. It took about half an hour to get it next to the boat.
“We couldn’t believe how big it was. Izzy was excited, but exhausted. She slept well that night.
“It was even heavier than me and I’m six feet tall – it was much heavier than her.”
Mark Jury, owner and operator of Fortuna Charters, added: ‘It was great to see a nine year old catch a fish five times her size.
“Izzy is going to be a great fisherman’s wife. She did everything she could and used all her strength to wind the monster.”