Very tough year. Haven't seen as many giants in the last 15 years as I saw this this year but they were extremely difficult to put on the deck. It's asinine to even think there is a retention limit at all. It's a quota based fishery with nearly real time reporting. You should be allowed to keep all of what you catch as long as it meets the minimum size restrictions until such time as the total quota is in jeopardy of being filled.
As most who fish hard for these fish know on the days you can catch them or they allow you to catch them you should be able to do so until such time as the total quota is in nearly full.
The only people happy with this underage in my estimation are some of the pelagic longline fleet and our government since it nearly satisfies the dilemma of where to account for the dead bluefin discard in that fishery.
I think that happened a few of years ago. Long gone are the days of $22. to $30. fish and $2. fuel. After our buyers created a domestic market that marked has to be satisfied to maintain the customer base and we all know we don't pay for Bluefin like the Japanese market does. We really can't blame the buyers for taking the shorter / quicker buck with less dollar outlay. JMHO.
The yen per kilo price paid for tuna fish has not changed a great deal in the last 15 or so years but the exchange rate has varied dramatically. This year for instance was nearly a 20% decrease in return to US fisherman. Additionally the Japanese are obviously showing loyalty to there own country's fish, just look at the returns to Japanese fishing vessels compared to others. Market variables are always a pain in the ass. Gimme a $10 guarantee and I will let you have every fish I catch!