Sightings of bluefin tuna off the English South West coast have been reported to the Marine Management Organisation (MMO).

On Monday a vessel escorting tourists around Mounts Bay, Penzance reported what it thought to be a group of bluefin tuna. Fishermen in the area have also spotted the shoal.

The Atlantic bluefin tuna is a large migratory fish found in the western and eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea. The UK has no quota for bluefin tuna and UK fishing vessels must not target the species.

If bluefin tuna are caught accidentally they must be returned to the sea. If this is not possible then the fish may be landed but must not be sold.

Nick Wright, South West Marine Area Manager said:

“Sightings such as these are unusual although we have never had any reports of illegal activity. We will continue to monitor the situation and sightings can be reported to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas which is an inter-governmental fishery organisation responsible for the conservation of tunas and tuna-like species in the Atlantic Ocean and its adjacent seas. The important thing to note is that the species should not be targeted as there is no UK quota.”