This one's in the bag
By DAVID MOASE
LONGLINE fisher Martin Wright wasn't talking about the big one that got away yesterday but he was still left disappointed.
Mr Wright, and the crew of the Susanne Richey II, safely landed their big one ? a 233- kilogram bluefin tuna ? 150 nautical miles off Coffs Harbour on Saturday.
What got away from them this time, however, was the $50,000 a tuna of that size could bring in sashimi-loving Japan.
A quick check of the fish's flesh showed it was not up to export quality ? news that left the crew feeling stuffed, which is exactly what will happen to the tuna.
It has been bought by Melbourne businessman Anthony Ciconte, who will soon see the fish on the wall of his office.
"It is a bit disappointing that such a big fish is not top quality but that's not so unusual," Mr Wright said, as the fish was being lowered into a huge container of ice at Coffs Harbour marina yesterday.
"Only about one out of 10 is okay for export.
"The quality of the meat depends on how well the fish has been eating and this one looks like it might have been starved a bit."
Landing the bluefin was something of a surprise for Mr Wright, a fisher for 23 years, because the crew had been trying to catch yellowfin tuna and broadbill.
Meanwhile, hungry thieves helped themselves to $400 worth of fish from a boat at the Coffs Harbour Marina.
Sergeant Frank Cook said a man, 32, contacted police and told them intruders climbed onto a white Stebercraft trawler, Snowdon, some time between 7pm on Sunday and 6am on Monday.
Sgt Cook said they stole the fish from an Esky packed with ice.
If you know anything about the robbery, contact Coffs Harbour Police Station on 6652 0299.