It took Coffs angler Clay Hilbert about four hours to bring in the grander marlin, which weighed more than 1000 pounds.
It took Coffs angler Clay Hilbert about four hours to bring in the grander marlin, which weighed more than 1000 pounds. Peak Sportfishing

Killing 1000 pound marlin could help conserve species

A CATCH of a lifetime has has had some of its shine rubbed off by online death threats.

Coffs Harbour game angler Clay Hilbert on Monday boated what could be Australia's biggest blue marlin, weighing 494.3kg.

After news broke of this potential record-breaker Clay said he had strangers send him death threats via social media.

He said the marlin caught off Exmouth, Western Australia, had not gone to waste. A mould will be made from it and mounted in a tackle store providing information to the public about the 1089.7 pound monster.

It will also be dissected for research purposes.

"At the moment there isn't really much known about Indian Ocean blue marlin," Clay said.

"Sustainability is my mantra.

"Our focus is education and learning about fish."

 

To claim a record, the fish had to be weighed and the tackle used sent away for scrutiny to check if it complied with strict International Game Fishing Association guidelines.

Peak Sportfishing charter skipper Eddy Lawler, who took Clay out on New Year's Day, said the grander marlin was one of a few fish he kept each year.

"Of the thousands marlin I tag and release, I'm always looking for that one fish," Eddy said.

"(People) don't realise the significance of that fish."

Since the start of the game fishing season in September, Eddy said he has tagged and released 126 marlin and 102 of those have been blue marlin.

Eddy said game fishing accounted for far fewer marlin deaths than commercial fishing.

"There's not a lot of us (game anglers) fishing for those big fish," he said.

Eddy said commercial anglers could only target the smaller striped marlin in Australian waters, but outside of these waters all marlin were fair game.

"On average there's 500 blue marlin taken out of the Indian Ocean every day (by international commercial long-lines)," he said.

Eddy said the marlin captured by Clay would provide scientists DNA which can map where it came from, give it an age and reveal possible clues of fishes reproductive behaviours.

"They literally know nothing about where these fish spawn. There's literally bugger all about them," he said.

"The only way you can find out stuff about them is by taking fish."



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