Natural Marine World Tidbits – Cayman Compass
Bigeye tuna, Thunnus obesus, is an agile, fast-growing predator that can reach eight feet and 400 pounds.
Due to its high fat content, it is the favorite and most prized sashimi tuna among northeast Atlantic tuna fishermen.
These fish are found throughout the world in temperate and tropical seas, although they spend most of their time in cool depths of 1,000 to 1,500 feet. I hung the one in the photo 1,200 feet off South Sound. To my knowledge, this is the first bigeye tuna ever caught in Grand Cayman.
What started in the Azores as a Portuguese line and pole fishery has evolved into a sophisticated multinational fishing effort, which has wiped out stocks of these once abundant fish. As usual, the Management Authority, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), continues to do a horrible job and the future of this magnificent species looks bleak.
Tom Byrnes is the owner / operator of Cayman Marine Laboratory. He obtained his Coast Guard captain’s license as a teenager and worked as a commercial fisherman in his youth. He obtained his first diving license in 1974 with the YMCA. He has worked in the local diving industry for over 35 years and holds a PhD in Marine Biology.