Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tuna Road Trip

A report from the Shogun crew...

Today we unloaded the 26 bluefin and one yellowfin tuna to the truck and pool located at the pier at Scripps Marfac dock. Half the fish were loaded into the “tunabago,” the transport tank that gives the bluefin a free ride up the California highways to the Tuna Research and Conservation Center (TRCC) at Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Station, in Pacific Grove. Thirteen bluefin tuna, all about 15 lbs at most, were loaded into the holding tank on the truck and another group swims currently in the pool at Marfac. Every fish was handled in a sling of water beginning in the wells aboard the Shogun where Alex Norton (our tuna whisperer) gently cradled each fish. They receive an Avid ID tag, get a length measurement and then are sent in the sling through a series of gentle hand lifts or carries that takes the fish to the truck or pool. It’s a well choreographed ballet where the team, tuna, water and strength all combine to move tunas from the ship to the transport truck. We all admired the great color of the bluefin, their stripes all lit up as they entered the cool waters in the truck. They will get the ride of their life to their new home. We were thrilled at the great condition of the fish and after loading with new bait headed back out to the fishing grounds.

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