Taipei, April 28 (CNA) The first fish in Pingtung's bluefin tuna tourism festival, which was caught Thursday, will be auctioned May 2, a fishermen's association in the southern county said Saturday.
The bluefin tuna, weighing nearly 200 kilograms, was caught off Pingtung in the Bashi Channel by a Donggang-registered boat Fu Yu Ching No. 2 on Thursday, according to the Donggang Fishermen's Association.
Skipper Hung Fu-wen, 58, said he has been a fisherman since age 17 and had caught a 400-kg bluefin tuna before but it was the first time that he had taken the first fish of the season in the area.
To qualify as the first bluefin tuna of the festival, the fish has to be a northern bluefin tuna caught alive in Taiwan waters and weighing more than 180 kg, the association said.
Moreover, the fishermen must contact fishery radio stations in the region immediately after catching the fish, and the boat has to make its way to Donggang port as fast as possible, according to the association.
The requirements may be tough, but the first bluefin tuna of the year usually fetches twice the normal market price and the restaurant that purchases the fish often attracts crowds of food connoisseurs, the association said.
(By Kuo Chu-chen and Jamie Wang)