A Cook Islands angler on Monday landed a 1,128-pound blue marlin while fishing solo aboard his 22-foot boat.
The rare “grander” catch established a new blue marlin record for the South Pacific nation, according to the Cook Islands News.
Arnold told the publication that he had been trying for 14 years to reel in a grander, or a marlin weighing 1,000 pounds or more.
“These fish demand so much respect,” Arnold told the Cook Islands News. “A massive thank you to the ocean and Polynesian spirit. “I’m proud to be a Cook Islander, and to bring in these fish in, in my own home. It really is a blessing.”
Cook Island fisherman defends killing 512 kg blue marlin: “These fish demand so much respect. A massive thank you to the ocean and Polynesian spirit.” @CINewsOnline https://t.co/vFp4uONmYP pic.twitter.com/IaMVx7QWXd
— Michael Field (@MichaelFieldNZ) August 30, 2023
Not everybody is cheering the catch.
In a Thursday post on X, the Blue Planet Society stated: “Respect? Selfish, egotistical thief of rare wildlife.”
(Blue marlin are listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species.)
The massive marlin was hooked three miles offshore and landed after a 1.5-hour battle that featured multiple leaps and powerful runs.
According to the Cook Islands News, “Every part of the fish was to put to good use, the meat was sold locally and the bones/head prepared and eaten – nothing was wasted.”
The previous Cook Islands record catch, of a 1,045-pound blue marlin, occurred in 2020.
The world record for Pacific blue marlin stands at 1,376 pounds, for a 1982 catch off Kona, Hawaii.