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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 August 2006, 13:36 GMT 14:36 UK
Beached tuna find 'very unusual'
Dr Patricia Lee (back) and Dr Jon Houghton, of Swansea University's Biological Sciences Department, with the bigeye tuna
The tuna has been examined by experts at Swansea University
Experts who have identified the species of tuna beached at Burry Port last week say it is only the third record of that type of fish being found in UK waters.

The tuna was recovered by three teenagers from a mud bank near the harbour town last Thursday.

Marine biologists at Swansea University say it was a bigeye tuna - usually found warmer waters in open oceans.

Weighing 83.5lb (38kg) and measuring 1.34m in length they said it was a "very unusual find."

The tuna, which was put into deep freeze at a Swansea fish firm after being brought ashore, has since been passed on to the university's department of biological sciences.

We may see more and more species such as this appearing in our waters
Professor Graeme Hays

Professor Graeme Hays said the discovery of the fish came just a few weeks after reports of another bigeye tuna caught 70 miles off Land's End by Penzance-based fishermen.

He said the Burry Port tuna was only the third recorded bigeye in British waters.

"This bigeye tuna is a very unusual find in Welsh waters - we will now be carrying out various analyses," he said.

"However, if sea temperatures continue to rise around Wales and the rest of the UK, we may see more and more species such as this appearing in our waters."

He said Wales had also recently attracted other long-distance marine visitors.

Declan Lapham, Lee Wrightson and Dai Booth with the tuna
The fish was pulled from a mud bank by three teenagers

Last month the department took delivery of a greater amberjack which was caught by fisherman Lee Lavender off Milford Haven.

The 530g fish, usually found in warmer waters such as the Mediterranean or Gulf of Biscay, was found to be one of only five to be recorded in British waters.

Dr John Lancaster, who is a fish recorder for the Welsh Federation of Sea Anglers, said: "Incidences of this type of fish being found in Welsh waters is most definitely increasing.

"We would encourage any members of the public who find unusual fish in Welsh waters to please contact the university.

"Any unusual fish found will be identified and recorded by the team and details are then passed on to the Natural History Museum and the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth."


SEE ALSO
Beached tuna discovered at coast
25 Aug 06 |  South West Wales
Illegal fishing hits tuna stocks
05 Jul 06 |  Science/Nature
Warmth sends leatherbacks north
01 Jul 06 |  South West Wales

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