KURTIS Nocelli has hit back at the negative comments he was subjected to after appearing on the front page of Port News last week.
The 15-year-old caught an impressive 144 kilogram marlin in the Golden Lure Fishing Tournament.
He was pictured with his catch on the front page of the Port News.
Comments flooded the Port News website and Facebook page in backlash.
Kurtis, who was subject to criticism, spoke to Port News yesterday.
“What got me was that a lot of people were saying that the fish that were kept were wasted,” he said.
“That’s not true at all.
“There were very few that are actually kept and those weighed in are eaten, used for research and the left overs are used for bait.”
The young man said he, and every other fisherman, was not out there to kill the fish and said they also believe them to be beautiful creatures.
He said the number of marlin that were actually kept and weighed in compared to the number that were tagged and released backed that up.
“In all 55 fish were caught throughout the competition and only five were kept,” he said.
“The rest were tagged and released.”
His mother Michelle joined the debate and said her son was no fly- by-night fisherman but was in fact a world record holder.
“He’s not just someone who’s come into the sport recently just to kill some fish,” she said.
“He actually got a world record in 2006 for catching a 10 kilo striped tuna on 10kg line.
“He and my husband have been fishing together for years and nearly every fish they catch is released.”