Our fact-checking investigations have revealed that the blue marlin fish caught by a Nigerian fisherman in Rivers State is not worth $2.6 million as was massively reported in the media.
It has been found that the $2.6 million quoted in a CNBC article as the price of the fish was actually the prize set for a fishing competition and does not represent the actual market value of the fish.
The fishing competition called the “White Marlin Open” is a week-long contest held in August every year. The contest which has been described as “one of the most expensive fishing competitions in the world” takes place in Ocean City, a resort town in the U.S. state of Maryland.
An ultimate prize is set each competition year amongst other smaller prizes. The prize money for the 2018 competition went over $5 million. $904,000 was set for the biggest tuna caught and $924,000 for the largest blue marlin. The $2.6 million mega-prize is for the largest white marlin fish caught.
The prizes may be super tempting but entering for the competition is not easy. The “White Marlin Open” tournament has been described as a “super-rich competition entered only by the super-rich”.
Entry fees for the competition start at $1,100 per boat and could reach more than $25,000. After adding other expenses such as the cost of hiring a boat captain and crew and buying fuel, the amount could go up to $45,000. More than 300 boats competed in 2018, meaning the chances of winning any of the set prizes is quite low too.
How much is the blue marlin fish caught in Nigeria worth?
There is no contest for blue marlin fish in Nigeria so the fish will be priced just like any other fine-tasting fish in the market. The price for one kilogram of fish in Nigeria falls between ₦1500 – ₦3000, depending on the type of fish and other market factors. By our estimate, the blue marlin fish caught in Nigeria should cost between ₦100K to ₦120K for its size.
The fisherman did not actually eat the fish
Contrary to widespread reports that the fisherman that caught the blue marlin fish ate it with his family and friends, a close source has revealed that the man actually cut the fish into tiny pieces and sold them at around ₦2000 per smoked piece.
Also, the man in a yellow shirt seen posing with the fish in the viral photos is not the actual fisherman that caught the fish. According to what we gathered, the name of the fisherman that caught the fish is Sir Gilbert Claude Otuene. It is also said that it wasn’t his first time catching a blue marlin fish (known as asuka in the local language).
The man in a yellow shirt in the photos is Zion Godwin, a graduate of Microbiology Technology from the University of Port Harcourt who first shared the pictures on Facebook.