[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC News in video and audio
Last Updated: Friday, 25 August 2006, 14:23 GMT 15:23 UK
Beached tuna discovered at coast
Declan Lapham, Lee Wrightson and Dai Booth with the Burry Port tuna (Pic: John Baker)
The three teenagers pulled the tuna from a mud bank
Conservation experts say the waters off Wales are being visited by a host of unusual species after a tuna was found beached at Burry Port, Carmarthenshire.

The fast-swimming fish, usually seen in the warm waters of the Mediterranean or Atlantic was discovered in a small bay.

It follows a sighting of fin whales last week, while sun fish and trigger fish are regularly seen in Welsh seas.

The 60lb (27.2kg) tuna was found on a mud bank by local angler Nick Roberts and pulled ashore by three teenagers.

Tuna are usually found in the Mediterranean off Spain and in the open ocean near the Azores, not in the Bristol Channel
Cliff Benson, Sea Trust

The three friends, who had been fishing at the shore, took it to a local angling shop in Burry Port.

The fish is currently in deep-freeze at a Swansea fish firm.

Mr Roberts said: "It was as fresh as you like because the eyes were still crystal clear.

"There was no molestation in any way, no crabs or bird had had a go at it yet."

The three teenagers, Lee Wrightson, 13, Dai Booth, 14, and Declan Lapham, 15, all from Pembrey, described how they brought the fish to the shore.

Lee said: "We were going to go fishing down Marsh Bay. As we went there we saw the fish.

Dai Booth, Lee Wrightson and Decaln Lapham (left to right)
The teenagers said it took two of them to carry the fish

"It was quite deep in mud and it was really hard to get out."

Declan added that he had trouble picking it up and it took two of the boys to carry it because of the weight.

Dai added: "We can't believe it and everyone says they've seen nothing like it before."

'Definitely an event'

Cliff Benson of Pembrokeshire-based marine charity Sea Trust said the tuna find "can be looked at as a sign of global warming".

He said they were a rare find around the UK.

Mr Benson said: "A 900lb tuna was caught off Whitby in 1947 and they are sometimes seen off Ireland, but generally they are pretty rare in our waters.

"This is definitely an event and will be reported for the records at the National Aquarium (in Plymouth).

"Tuna are usually found in the Mediterranean off Spain and in the open ocean near the Azores, not in the Bristol Channel."

Mr Benson added that warmer sea temperatures off Wales could explain why the tuna ended up at Burry Port.

He said: "The sea temperature is 18C (64F) at the moment which is as warm as it gets here.

"Things like this can be looked at as a sign of global warming. It's just a couple of degrees but it makes a difference.

"When you start getting things like this, trigger fish being seen regularly and bass being caught off Scotland they are all signs."

Whale sightings rise off coast
22 Aug 06 |  South West Wales

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific