THE bluefin tuna fishing season has been temporarily suspended.
The environment department has implemented the pause in fishing due to a high number of catches registered in the early part of the season.
It will run from July 16 – August 6, during which time fishing and catching and releasing the endangered animal is prohibited.
It comes after more than nine tonnes out of the 13-tonne limit has been caught in just four weeks
In line with the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, which has increased its quota by 20%, the government will increase the limit to 15.5 tonnes, from when the season re-opens on August 7.
Starting on June 16, the season will continue until either October 14 or when the weight limit is reached.
Licensed fishermen must report and weigh catches at the dedicated landing point in the North Mole.
Due to its popularity, the Atlantic bluefin tuna has been the victim of severe overfishing, and in 2009, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) declared a dramatic decline in stock of 72% in the Eastern Atlantic, and 82% in the Western Atlantic over the last 40 years.