What is in a Name – Nothing When it Comes to Yellowtail Kingfish

by Tony Bishop on March 28, 2006

According to the IGFA – (International Game Fish Association) – the people who administer the World’s fishing records – there are two species of yellowtail kingfish.

One that seems to swim off the West Coast of the Americas – the so-called Californian Yellowtail – and one for the rest of us, called the Southern Yellowtail Kingfish.

Here is the problem:

Virtually all the World Records for the Southern Yellowtail Kingfish are held in New Zealand. Fact is that they grow to prodigious size here.

Average size in New Zealand is 90-120cm, reaching over 150cm, weighing to over 68kg (150lb). The current world record is 52kg (115lb) .

But years ago someone convinced the IGFA that the species that grew in the South Pacific was different to the species off the West Coast of the Americas. Problem with this is that it has now been proved conclusively well over ten or more years ago that the species are the same: Seriola lalandi.

The second reason given for separate records for kingfish were held was that the two populations do not intermingle. You say what!? Does this mean that if any fish specie populations do not mingle then they should have separate records? Of course not!

This would mean we should have separate records for Atlantic and Pacific Tuna, Atlantic and Pacific Marlin. Can you imagine different World Records for trout, salmon, or bass depending on which river or lake they were caught. It is a nonsense of course.

World records are just that. The biggest fish of that species in the World – not just where you happen to fish.

So, c’mon IGFA, get real and scrub those separate records for yellowtail kingfish.

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