Nine-year-old schoolgirl lands 400-pound bluefin tuna worth £70,000

She’s really going to need 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, fed a monster fish more than five times her own weight
  • The schoolgirl from Crediton, Devon, found the specimen off the coast of Plymouth
  • Bluefin tuna is a prized delicacy in Japan but a protected species in the UK

A nine-year-old girl has landed a giant bluefin tuna that weighs more than five times its own weight and is worth 70,000 pounds.

Izzy Crotty struggled with the 400-pound fish, which was so powerful she had to attach her rod to the boat to avoid being pulled in.

The schoolgirl spent 30 minutes rolling up the giant 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

Catch of the day: Izzy Crotty, 9, landed a 400lb bluefin tuna off the coast of Plymouth, Devon

Bluefin tuna is a highly prized delicacy in Japan, where it is known to sell for £175 a pound.

That would have made Izzy’s fish worth a staggering £70,000.

But in the UK it’s illegal to kill the protected fish, which was once an endangered species, so Izzy was happy to let him go.

Under a new government initiative, anglers are allowed to catch bluefin tuna and tag it for scientific purposes before releasing it.

Izzy was aboard a charter boat called Fortuna, which is one of 25 vessels allowed to participate in the charting scheme called CHART that was introduced last year.

It gives anglers a three month window from August through November to experience the “once in a lifetime” thrill of catching big game fish that would otherwise require traveling to the Caribbean.

Since bluefin tuna was placed under conservation, the waters off the south west coast of England have seen a resurgence of the big game monster species, which are now regarded as ‘world class’ fisheries for them.

Izzy’s father, John, a farmer from Crediton, Devon, said they “gazed” 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 father, John Crotty, said they both

Izzy’s father, John Crotty, said they both “gazed” when they saw the size of the bluefin tuna

“We were about 20 miles away. Izzy was fully kitted out and ready to get started with the rod holder.

“The fish started off pretty slowly, then it started running. It took about half an hour to get it alongside 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 6ft tall – it was a lot heavier than her.”

Mark Jury, owner and operator of Fortuna Charters added: “It was amazing to watch a nine year old catch a fish five times her size.

“Izzy is going to be a hell of a fisherman. She took great pains and used all her strength to wriggle the monster inside.”

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Andrew Kugle

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