ALBERTON -- A member of the Tuna Advisory Committee for the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association is expecting fishing activity to ramp up as the regular tuna-fishing season starts to wind down.
The season opened July 15 and remains open until September 30 or until the quota is caught, whichever comes first.
The 359-member P.E.I. fleet has a 126.724 metric tonnes allocation, which is close to last year’s allocation.
As of Thursday, about 30 metric tonne, or about 100 fish, had been landed.
Advisory board member Doug Fraser said fishermen are encountering all sorts of fish. “There are some real good fish, some mediocre ones and some lower grade fish, he said. He indicated some of the smaller fish, in the 300 to 500 pound range, are currently fetching the higher prices per pound, but he pointed out fish are still fattening up and some of the larger ones haven’t even arrived on the prime tuna fishing grounds yet.
That also explains why fishing activity has not been brisk yet.
Fishing, though, has been good. “It seems when any warty wants to go and get their tuna they do,” Fraser noted.
Fishermen must have hailed out and/or landed a tuna by September 30, however, to be eligible for a draw for reallocation of remaining tags. Only one tag per fisherman is issued and fishermen are not reimbursed for unused tags.
The actual draw for re-allocation tags, will be conducted next Thursday, September 19, at the Farm Centre.
Members of the P.E.I. fleet, whether they have already hailed out or not, can register for the draw Tuesday, 9-4 at Red’s Corner, Wednesday 11 to 7 at Bloomfield Legion and Thursday, September 19 from 9 to 4 at the Farm Centre. The draw will be held shortly thereafter.
Fishermen whose names are drawn for the reallocation have until September 30 to fulfill their eligibility requirements.
Last year all members of the P.E.I. fleet were active, and 343 registered for the re-allocation draw.
Fraser said most fishermen sell their fish on consignment, hoping it fetches a good price for them in the Japanese or American marketplace. Some, however, encourage buyers in attendance to bid on their fish.