Marlin and yellowfin tuna have been caught in large numbers from New Plymouth, around North Cape,
to Napier as weather patterns have pushed the warm âblueâ water that the fish prefer close to both coasts,
putting them within reach of anglers in small trailer boats. Scientific study indicates that the marlin fishery
is recovering well from the damage done mainly by Japanese long-liners after they moved into the southwest
Pacific in the 1980s. After regulations were changed to prohibit long-liners from keeping marlin caught in
New Zealand waters, the numbers and average size of the fish began to increase. Last season, 1023 striped
marlin were tagged and 592 landed – eight times the total caught in the mid-80s. Massey University,
with backing from Stanford University in the United States, is embarking on a world-first satellite tracking
programme, tagging marlin in the Bay of Plenty with tags which will send data each time the fish surfaces.
The aim is to find out more about what marlin do and where they go in New Zealand waters.