A Baie Verte fisherman is putting a brave face on a big loss.

Ivan Regular accidentally caught a big tuna in a herring net on Monday, but was told by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to throw it back into the water because he had no licence to catch tuna, and the season was closed.

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Regular said the tuna he caught could be worth up to $500, 000.

Regular said a tuna weighing about 360 kilograms recently sold for $400,000 dollars in Japan and he estimated the one he caught was as big, if not bigger than that. He said dumping such a big catch wasn't an easy thing to do.

"When you've got to throw away a fish that could be potentially worth half a million dollars," said Regular. "That would've been a wonderful fall for us."

But the fisherman isn't dwelling on the loss.

"I think fishermen got the best sense of humour of anybody that's in the working force," said Regular. "That's all you can have in this racket, the fishery. You got to have a good sense of humour."

Regular said he had a buyer lined up to purchase the large tuna but had to get approval from DFO.

The huge blue fin tuna was caught in the waters off Ming's Bight, on the Baie Verte Peninsula.