BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - Big, profitable and rare. That is how charter captains describe a 700+ pound Bluefin tuna caught near Boynton Beach earlier this week.
Catching one in June is unheard of, and illegal. Bluefin tuna caught out of season can be a federal crime. NOAA and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are investigating who reeled it in.
"We are working with our federal partners to see if any violations occurred and what those might be," said Carli Segelson with the FWC.
Van Blakeman runs his fishing charter out of the Riviera Beach Marina. He says the giant fish was caught and then sold.
"It's a big money fish caught two days ago, it's worth several thousand dollars. Someone's greed got in the way once again," said Blakeman.
Blakeman admits you can't help what comes in on your line, but this tuna should've been immediately cut loose. He says this sort of "poaching" affects the whole industry.
"It affects us because it ends up reducing the fish population for everyone else," said Blakeman.
NOAA says no arrests have been made in the case.