Fisheries Day: Tuna

Wednesday, August 21, 2013
10:00am - 4:00pm
All activities are free with the price of regular admission.

Join us to help celebrate our local fishery – Tuna! Sample locally caught and canned tuna, go on a Tuna Traipse around the Aquarium and learn about our local sustainable fishery! Guest organizations will include Oregon Albacore Commission, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and many more.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium will celebrate albacore tuna for Fisheries Day on August 21.

Games, craft projects and education programs designed to be fun for kids will be in The Sea & Me exhibit gallery. Meanwhile the Tuna Traipse, a scavenger hunt of tuna-related questions, will be spread throughout the Aquarium.

The Oregon Albacore Commission will be at the Aquarium with samples of locally caught canned tuna for visitors to taste and information about Newport’s local fishery. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will be at the event with hands on displays about the agency’s research and tuna fisheries.

The U.S. Coast Guard will be at the Aquarium with a survival suit for kids to try on and information about rescue operations. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) will be on-site to provide information about recreational fishing.

The Pacific Maritime & Heritage Center will host a table that features the history of fishing in the waters off of Newport. The Fishermen’s Wives will also be at the Aquarium with their popular cookbooks and sweatshirts for sale.

Jenni Remillard, Education Specialist at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, said the event was organized because, “Fishing is a big part of Newport’s past, present, and future. The Aquarium recognizes that Oregon’s tuna fishery is sustainable and well managed and we wanted to celebrate that by inviting the public to learn more about it.”

Fisheries Day – Tuna falls on a Wednesday, which means that Lincoln County locals can purchase admission to the Aquarium for just $5 with proof of residency. The Aquarium is open every day this summer from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Newport's Commercial Fisheries

Fishing for tuna is an important industry in Newport, Oregon! Albacore tuna usually arrive off the Oregon coast in the early summer, following the warm water current from Japan. To catch tuna, trollers tow artificial lures (jigs) on the surface of the water at speeds of three to six miles per hour (4.8 to 9.6 km/h). The fishermen will travel offshore 50 miles (80.4 km) or more to find the tuna  a distance that forces boats to stay out several days.

A good day's catch might be 300 tuna with individual fish weighing up to 30 pounds (13.6 kg). The fish are preserved at sea using ice or refrigeration. When the ships return to port, you can often buy the fresh catch right from the crew on Newport's amazing working waterfront.

Albacore tuna are managed by many different countries. In the United States, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) manages the commercial and recreational albacore tuna fisheries.