As of Wednesday, 27.7 per cent of Prince Edward Island’s 2018 halibut quota had been landed.
The fishery has been open on Wednesday and Thursday s for the last three weeks. It closes after today and will reopen in three weeks’ time, again running on three consecutive Wednesday and Thursdays.
Michel MacDonald, co-chair of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association’s Groundfish Advisory committee describes the fishery in the eastern end of the Island as being slow, so far. He said only a few fishermen have filled their individual 205-kg boat quotas. MacDonald said some fishermen have struck it lucky with hooking large fish. He’s heard of fish in eastern P.E.I. weighing 250 and 320 pounds.
MacDonald said he spent just day on the water, hooking just one small fish. He’s content to wait for the next round of fishing activity before attempting to fill his quota.
Fishing activity in the western end of the province has been a bit more productive, and there have been some big ones landed there, too. In Northport on Wednesday Captain Jamie LeClair put a 159-kg (351-pound) halibut over the scales.
The Island’s halibut fleet consists of 318 members this year.
MacDonald said the halibut fleet finished within 10 per cent of the fleet’s overall quota last year. He said this year’s boat quota is up slightly from last year.