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Home   Tunbridge Wells   News   Article

Tunbridge Wells woman, Sarah Little, finds rare bluefin tuna worth £1m in Cornwall

15 July 2014
by Annabel Rusbridge-Thomas

A woman from Kent has had a fin-tastic trip to Cornwall after coming across an endangered fish - worth £1m.

Sarah Little, from Tunbridge Wells, was on a university reunion trip with her friends in Kingsand when they encountered the 7ft bluefin tuna.

The species is listed as endangered, and although worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, it is illegal to sell or catch - so the girls sadly won't be claiming any cash for the find. 

The group of girls from Oxford Brookes University were on a reunion weekend in Cornwall when they discovered the endangered species

The group of girls from Oxford Brookes University were on a reunion weekend in Cornwall when they discovered the endangered species

The 22-year-old, originally from Bishops Down Road, said the girls, who studied at Oxford Brookes University, thought the 300lb creature was a shark when they first spotted it.

She added: "We hadn't been kayaking for long at all, we probably were about 100m out when we saw something floating on the bottom of the sea.

"We were all saying 'no, you go look at it' because we thought it might have been a shark.

"Charlotte and Laura jumped out of their boat and started trying to move it with their paddle but realised it was dead."

After attracting a large crowd while trying to pull the bluefin tuna to shore, a group of men on the beach tried to help, but it was still too heavy. 

Sarah said: "Even the guys couldn't pull it out of the sea, so we took our kayak back into the water and tried to push it under the fish, once we had we managed to get it on the sand." 

The girls found the bluefin tuna whilst kayaking in Kingsand, Cornwall it is estimated to be worth £1m

The girls found the bluefin tuna whilst kayaking in Kingsand, Cornwall it is estimated to be worth £1m

Onlooker, Claire Wallerstein, a volunteer strandings recorder for the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, managed to identify the fish and told the girls what type it was. 

Former Tunbridge Wells Girl's Grammar School pupil, Sarah, added: "Claire ran to her house to get a tape measure and revealed it was 7ft 1ins longn - she hadn't quite seen anything like it in her life." 

"Money never had is money never lost, we've walked away with a fantastic story" - Sarah Little

The fish has been taken to University of Exeter's campus in Penryn, Cornwall to be used for educational purposes. 

A tuna half the size of the one the girls found was illegally sold last year for more than £500,000 and a single bluefin tuna, weighing 489lbs sold in Japan for £1.05m, almost triple the record price set last year.

Miss Little said the group of girls would have loved a cut of the potential £1m but added: "Money never had is money never lost, we've walked away with a fantastic story.

"I'll be placing the pictures of the day on my wall, it's been incredible." 


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