Brett Taylor with the tuna caught off the Sunshine Coast.
Brett Taylor with the tuna caught off the Sunshine Coast. Contributed

Tuna worth its weight in gold

THIS monster of the deep- a 314kg northern bluefin tuna - was brought into Mooloolaba one day, and two days later was sold at a Tokyo fish market for almost $41,000.

The fish, for comparison purposes, weighed about three times more than giant Broncos rugby league prop Petero Civoniceva.

Brett Taylor, of Four Seasons Seafood Exporters, said the tuna, rarely seen in Queensland waters, was caught about 300km off the Sunshine Coast.

"Mooloolaba would see fish like him two to three times a year," Mr Taylor said. "He was a lovely fish."

Mr Taylor said the tuna was caught by Mooloolaba long-liner Scorpion, skippered by Steve Goodes.

He said Four Seasons had four boats that fished the waters off south-east Queensland.

Long-liners use a 70km monofilament line fitted with about 1500 hooks.

Mr Taylor said the Four Seasons fleet usually fished for yellowfin and bigeye tuna, as well as swordfish.

He said the bluefin, unlike yellowfin and bigeye tuna, were not found in schools.

"He is a more solitary animal, a predator," he said.

"The lions of the sea."

The Pacific variety of northern bluefin tuna can grow to three metres long and 450kg.

According to the International Game Fish Association, the all-tackle record was 325kg off New Zealand in 1997.