Game fishing groups defend tag and release after 649kg marlin dies during fight

Updated December 04, 2018 10:57:13

Photo: Angler Rob Crane and his crew standing beside their huge catch. (Facebook: Fishing with Scotto)

Fishing groups and experts have defended the actions of anglers who landed a nearly 650 kilogram black marlin off Queensland on Friday, saying the majority of catches tagged and released in Australia survive.

The 649.87kg beast took just two hours to catch, with sport fisherman Rob Crane and his crew deciding to bring it back to shore after witnessing it had died to see whether they had managed to beat the world record of 707kg.

The anglers pointed out the fish was killed during its fight with Mr Crane off Lady Musgrave Island, not on board nor being brought back to shore.

“We’re not all about killing awesome creatures, that’s for sure. We’ve caught plenty before and tagged and released them, but we just thought this is a once-in-a-lifetime thing [bringing it to shore],” he said.