Watch out for red tuna in September: here’s how to spot them


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September is a good time for fishing. These days, our coasts are being invaded by small tunas of various species, especially setters, tuna mackerel, and bluefin tuna. The bluefin tuna fishery is regulated by a precise rule, which we will bring back to you below, and catching them can result in heavy penalties. But how to distinguish the different species of tuna? We help you with these three photos.

Watch out for red tuna in September: here’s how to spot them

Red Tuna

The skipjack tuna can be recognized because when it comes out of the water it shows typical vertical stripes from the back to the belly. Another unmistakable feature is the large mouth.




The tombarello can be recognized by the dark “tiger” on its back, similar to that of mackerel.




The skipjack tuna can be recognized by the tiger tag on its back and the black dots near the belly, just behind the gills.



In compliance with current international (ICCAT Recommendation 14-04) and European regulations (EC Reg. No. 302/2009, as supplemented and amended by EU Reg. No. 500/2012), by Circular No. 12780 of June 15, 2010, the General Directorate of Fisheries and Aquaculture of Mi.P.A.A.F. intended to regulate The exercise of sport/recreational fishing of the bluefin tuna resource.

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Specifically, the aforementioned measure provides for the issuance, by the maritime district office in whose jurisdiction the base port of the recreational unit concerned falls, of a specific permit valid for three years and renewable upon expiration.

This clearance refers to the pleasure craft (which, of course, must be of Italian nationality), so it is not necessary for the person requesting it to be present on board.

From the technical operational point of view, the following limitations are provided:

  • Prohibition of catching more than one specimen per day;
  • fishing period allowed from June 16 to October 14, with the possibility of continuing until December 31, exclusively by catch-and-release;
  • minimum catch size set at 30 kg. or 115 cm. length at the fork (i.e., measured from the end of the upper jaw to the end of the shortest tail radius);
  • obligation to submit the relevant catch declaration to the Maritime Authority within 24 hours of landing;
  • Prohibition of marketing the captured specimens.



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