15/07/2014 07:25 BST | Updated 15/07/2014 07:59 BST

Student Catches Bluefin Tuna Fish Worth £1m In Cornwall, Government Confiscates It

A group of friends who caught a rare fish worth £1m must've thought they had hit the jackpot - until the government's environmental department confiscated it.

Sarah Little, Laura Pickervance, Hannah Ford, Charlotte Chambers and Shauna Creamer, a student at Kent University, were frolicking in the Cornish sea when they came across the 300lb bluefin tuna. The fish, which was already dead when the friends found it, was floating in waist-deep water by the beach in Kingsand.

The group, who met while at Oxford Brookes University, hauled the beast, which measured 7ft 1", to the shore using a kayak.

"We took the kayaks out at 12pm and we'd only just got in the water and were messing around being silly when we saw this massive thing floating on the sea bed," Little told the Cornish Guardian.

The group pose with their find

"I shouted 'shark' but then we saw whatever it was was dead and we had a closer look and hauled it up across the kayaks. It was massive.

"We tried to flip it over but it was too heavy so four men had a go - and they couldn't lift it either. There was lots of faffing about."

EU laws make it is illegal to fish for bluefin tuna, and so the friends could not sell their find. The fish has been confiscated by officials from Marine Management Organisation, part of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and is now in a freezer in Plymouth.