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Pictures | Wed Oct 17, 2018 | 10:20am EDT

Big bluefin tuna make California comeback after 80-year hiatus

Ryder Devoe, 19, catches a 200-pound Pacific bluefin tuna while spear fishing during a free dive off the coast of San Diego. Large Pacific bluefin tuna not seen in California waters for decades have reappeared, to the delight of fishing enthusiasts and scientists, as global conservation efforts have proven effective for one of the ocean's priciest and most sought-after fish.   

REUTERS/Don Orr

Ryder Devoe, 19, catches a 200-pound Pacific bluefin tuna while spear fishing during a free dive off the coast of San Diego. Large Pacific bluefin tuna not seen in California waters for decades have reappeared, to the delight of fishing enthusiasts...more

Ryder Devoe, 19, catches a 200-pound Pacific bluefin tuna while spear fishing during a free dive off the coast of San Diego. Large Pacific bluefin tuna not seen in California waters for decades have reappeared, to the delight of fishing enthusiasts and scientists, as global conservation efforts have proven effective for one of the ocean's priciest and most sought-after fish. REUTERS/Don Orr
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Ryder Devoe, 19, catches a 200-pound Pacific bluefin tuna while spear fishing during a free dive off the coast of San Diego. Still image taken from a September 2018 video. 

REUTERS/Don Orr

Ryder Devoe, 19, catches a 200-pound Pacific bluefin tuna while spear fishing during a free dive off the coast of San Diego. Still image taken from a September 2018 video. REUTERS/Don Orr

Ryder Devoe, 19, catches a 200-pound Pacific bluefin tuna while spear fishing during a free dive off the coast of San Diego. Still image taken from a September 2018 video. REUTERS/Don Orr
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Record-breaking temperatures in San Diego this past summer and the warming of the ocean off the California coast provided a feeding ground for the bluefin, which can sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. In early January, an 890-pound bluefin fetched $323,000 at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo.
     
 REUTERS/Don Orr

Record-breaking temperatures in San Diego this past summer and the warming of the ocean off the California coast provided a feeding ground for the bluefin, which can sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. In early January, an 890-pound bluefin...more

Record-breaking temperatures in San Diego this past summer and the warming of the ocean off the California coast provided a feeding ground for the bluefin, which can sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. In early January, an 890-pound bluefin fetched $323,000 at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo. REUTERS/Don Orr
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Overfishing of bluefin tuna spurred by a growing global appetite for sushi resulted in a critical decline in stocks over decades. But measures by the United States, Japan, Mexico and others to limit their take have led to population growth, though tuna populations are still below historic levels.

  
REUTERS/Don Orr

Overfishing of bluefin tuna spurred by a growing global appetite for sushi resulted in a critical decline in stocks over decades. But measures by the United States, Japan, Mexico and others to limit their take have led to population growth, though...more

Overfishing of bluefin tuna spurred by a growing global appetite for sushi resulted in a critical decline in stocks over decades. But measures by the United States, Japan, Mexico and others to limit their take have led to population growth, though tuna populations are still below historic levels. REUTERS/Don Orr
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The Center for Biological Diversity said in August 2017 that the Pacific bluefin had been overfished to less than 3 percent of its historic population. The National Marine Fisheries Service announced in October 2016 that it was considering listing the Pacific bluefin, but it subsequently concluded that protections were not warranted.

REUTERS/Don Orr

The Center for Biological Diversity said in August 2017 that the Pacific bluefin had been overfished to less than 3 percent of its historic population. The National Marine Fisheries Service announced in October 2016 that it was considering listing...more

The Center for Biological Diversity said in August 2017 that the Pacific bluefin had been overfished to less than 3 percent of its historic population. The National Marine Fisheries Service announced in October 2016 that it was considering listing the Pacific bluefin, but it subsequently concluded that protections were not warranted. REUTERS/Don Orr
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Ryder Devoe, 19, catches a 200-pound Pacific bluefin tuna while spear fishing during a free dive off the coast of San Diego, California, U.S. September 5, 2018. Still image taken from a video September 5, 2018. REUTERS/Don Orr

Ryder Devoe, 19, catches a 200-pound Pacific bluefin tuna while spear fishing during a free dive off the coast of San Diego, California, U.S. September 5, 2018. Still image taken from a video September 5, 2018. REUTERS/Don Orr

Ryder Devoe, 19, catches a 200-pound Pacific bluefin tuna while spear fishing during a free dive off the coast of San Diego, California, U.S. September 5, 2018. Still image taken from a video September 5, 2018. REUTERS/Don Orr
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In early September, Ryder Devoe, 19, who dives to spear big game fish, emerged from the deep blue waters 68 miles off the California coast in his camouflaged wetsuit, shouting: "I think I got him." Devoe had speared a 200-pound bluefin as a school swam 60 feet below.  



REUTERS/Don Orr

In early September, Ryder Devoe, 19, who dives to spear big game fish, emerged from the deep blue waters 68 miles off the California coast in his camouflaged wetsuit, shouting: "I think I got him." Devoe had speared a 200-pound bluefin as a school...more

In early September, Ryder Devoe, 19, who dives to spear big game fish, emerged from the deep blue waters 68 miles off the California coast in his camouflaged wetsuit, shouting: "I think I got him." Devoe had speared a 200-pound bluefin as a school swam 60 feet below. REUTERS/Don Orr
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"With a rod and reel you can t catch them if they aren't hungry," said Ed Heller, Devoe's boat captain. "But they will always eat a spear."

REUTERS/Mike Blake

"With a rod and reel you can t catch them if they aren't hungry," said Ed Heller, Devoe's boat captain. "But they will always eat a spear." REUTERS/Mike Blake

"With a rod and reel you can t catch them if they aren't hungry," said Ed Heller, Devoe's boat captain. "But they will always eat a spear." REUTERS/Mike Blake
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Ryder Devoe, 19, proudly shows off his 200-pound Pacific bluefin tuna after free diving to spear the fish off the coast of San Diego. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Ryder Devoe, 19, proudly shows off his 200-pound Pacific bluefin tuna after free diving to spear the fish off the coast of San Diego. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Ryder Devoe, 19, proudly shows off his 200-pound Pacific bluefin tuna after free diving to spear the fish off the coast of San Diego. REUTERS/Mike Blake
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Ryder Devoe begins to clean the 200-pound Pacific bluefin tuna. Local sport fisherman have welcomed their resurgence.

REUTERS/Mike Blake

Ryder Devoe begins to clean the 200-pound Pacific bluefin tuna. Local sport fisherman have welcomed their resurgence. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Ryder Devoe begins to clean the 200-pound Pacific bluefin tuna. Local sport fisherman have welcomed their resurgence. REUTERS/Mike Blake
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Ryder Devoe holds the heart as he cleans the 200-pound Pacific bluefin tuna. 

REUTERS/Mike Blake

Ryder Devoe holds the heart as he cleans the 200-pound Pacific bluefin tuna. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Ryder Devoe holds the heart as he cleans the 200-pound Pacific bluefin tuna. REUTERS/Mike Blake
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Ryder Devoe cleans and filets the 200-pound Pacific bluefin tuna. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Ryder Devoe cleans and filets the 200-pound Pacific bluefin tuna. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Ryder Devoe cleans and filets the 200-pound Pacific bluefin tuna. REUTERS/Mike Blake
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Ryder Devoe,19, looks out from his dive mask before free diving for large Pacific bluefin tuna off the coast of San Diego. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Ryder Devoe,19, looks out from his dive mask before free diving for large Pacific bluefin tuna off the coast of San Diego. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Ryder Devoe,19, looks out from his dive mask before free diving for large Pacific bluefin tuna off the coast of San Diego. REUTERS/Mike Blake
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Ryder Devoe swims around a kelp paddy looking for fish off the coast of San Diego. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Ryder Devoe swims around a kelp paddy looking for fish off the coast of San Diego. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Ryder Devoe swims around a kelp paddy looking for fish off the coast of San Diego. REUTERS/Mike Blake
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Ryder Devoe and his brother Fisher search the waters for signs of Pacific bluefin tuna off the coast of San Diego. 

REUTERS/Mike Blake

Ryder Devoe and his brother Fisher search the waters for signs of Pacific bluefin tuna off the coast of San Diego. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Ryder Devoe and his brother Fisher search the waters for signs of Pacific bluefin tuna off the coast of San Diego. REUTERS/Mike Blake
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Ryder Devoe carries his spear gun as he goes into the water in search of Bluefin tuna off the coast of San Diego. 

REUTERS/Mike Blake

Ryder Devoe carries his spear gun as he goes into the water in search of Bluefin tuna off the coast of San Diego. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Ryder Devoe carries his spear gun as he goes into the water in search of Bluefin tuna off the coast of San Diego. REUTERS/Mike Blake
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Pacific bluefin tuna heads sit waiting to be autopsied by NOAA biologists at their facilities in Jolla, California. 

REUTERS/Mike Blake

Pacific bluefin tuna heads sit waiting to be autopsied by NOAA biologists at their facilities in Jolla, California. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Pacific bluefin tuna heads sit waiting to be autopsied by NOAA biologists at their facilities in Jolla, California. REUTERS/Mike Blake
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Ryder Devoe stands with his spearfishing gun before boarding a boat to travel overnight in search of large Pacific bluefin tuna off the coast of San Diego. 

REUTERS/Mike Blake

Ryder Devoe stands with his spearfishing gun before boarding a boat to travel overnight in search of large Pacific bluefin tuna off the coast of San Diego. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Ryder Devoe stands with his spearfishing gun before boarding a boat to travel overnight in search of large Pacific bluefin tuna off the coast of San Diego. REUTERS/Mike Blake
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Ryder Devoe stands with his spearfishing gun before boarding a boat to travel overnight in search of Pacific bluefin tuna off the coast of San Diego. 

REUTERS/Mike Blake

Ryder Devoe stands with his spearfishing gun before boarding a boat to travel overnight in search of Pacific bluefin tuna off the coast of San Diego. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Ryder Devoe stands with his spearfishing gun before boarding a boat to travel overnight in search of Pacific bluefin tuna off the coast of San Diego. REUTERS/Mike Blake
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