Nigel Farage boasts about catching endangered fish

MEP says he 'had a great time catching Blue Fin Tuna'

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Nigel Farage hooks endangered fish

Nigel Farage has been fishing.

The MEP and former Ukip leader, 53, posted an idyllic photo to Twitter on Tuesday. In it, he's proudly holding a majestic-looking bluefin tuna.

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The bluefin tuna is a critically endangered species. The World Wildlife Federation lists it as the most endangered fish in the world, and the sixth most threatened species, land or sea.

The Marine Conservation Society also lists the bluefin tuna as endangered. The Good Fish Guide ranks its sustainability at '5' – the worst possible.

Farage boasts about catching endangered fish

A sunny day in the Med

Farage threw the fish back. Farage's spokesman told Mirror Online that he was sure to do so. It was caught reacreationally and is said to be still alive. The spokesman added that "fishing is controversial" and then hung up the phone.

"Sorry, I'm too busy," he said.

The tweet provoked a bit of a reaction. Farage's Brexit fishing flotilla, migrants, and sustainability have all been mentioned.

Yes, fishing is very political. Catching bluefin tuna, while completely legal in Farage's case, is undoubtedly controversial.

So while you're here...

Credits: Getty

Stocks are low

Since the 1970s, when demand soured – particularly in Japan – the fish's average weight has halved. In the Pacific, stocks have depleted by around 96 per cent. Bluefin is migratory and is also found in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean as well as the Pacific.

Farage caught his fish in the Adriatic Sea, an area where 'big game' fishing, a quite costly pursuit, is popular.

It means that the fish Farage caught was almost certainly farmed. In the Adriatic, huge set-ups see bluefin tuna bred in big cages. In them, they can't naturally reproduce, but are fed so that they grow to a considerable size, primed for either selling for food, or for 'big game' fishing.

Bluefin tuna remains endangered, despite the fact it's farmed in some areas. Some feel what happens there is "legalised poaching".

One of them is Wietse van der Werf. He's the co-founder of The Black Fish, a sustainability activist group. Wietse said back in 2010: "This exemption to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas rules [at the farms] is a form of legalised poaching.

Credits: Getty

A bluefin tuna auction in 2016

"By giving in to the tuna industry lobby and allowing this type of destructive fishing to continue, ICCAT has clearly failed the bluefin tuna. It is increasingly clear that any chances of saving the bluefin tuna through conventional means are failing and it is for this reason The Black Fish has kicked off its new bluefin tuna campaign with this action.

"It is about time we ended Croatia's special treatment and worked towards real measures that put a stop to the overfishing of bluefin tuna."

The bluefin tuna is by all accounts a pin-up for endangered species. It's one of the fastest fish in the sea, can grow to up to ten feet, and when fully grow weigh more than 1,400 pounds.

Credits: Getty

The most endangered fish in the world

The fish is prized on tables – and in turn, by commercial fishermen. Each fish can sell for thousands of pounds. Earlier this year in Japan, 'the first of the season' sold for £500,000 at auction, sparking anger among conservationists. It's always good to try to buy pole and line caught tuna (skipjack or albacore aren't so endangered) if possible.

Bluefin tuna are also coveted by recreational fishermen due to the fact the fish is considered a fighter – it's hard to reel in. Farage will be pleased.

In pictures: the world's endangered predators

In pictures: the world's endangered predators


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