THE fisherman who reeled in a 360-kilogram black marlin has defended his catch following criticism it should have been tagged and released.
Sam Lacy, who landed the black marlin while abroad 13.4 metre Sea Fever Sportsfishing charter boat, said the fish died after its tail was wrapped around the line, about 30 minutes after it was hooked.
"It was unable to be released, it was dead before it got to the boat," he said.
"It was a shame it died and it was a disappointment to the skipper and the crew.
"It was not taken for bragging reasons ... we have caught much larger fish ... and tagged and released perfectly healthy."
More than 60 comments were made on The Observer's Facebook post of Mr Lacy's photo with the marlin and the story behind the incredible catch.
"Should have been released," David N Jan Maison wrote.
The Whitsundays man said he usually tagged and released his catch.
"We fishermen do way more good than harm with conservation and making sure there is a future for the next generation," he said.