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Canadian Bluefin Season Could Be A Short One

The fall tuna season had only been open a couple of hours when Terry Harris nabbed a giant.

The 34-year-old fisher from Lower Rollo Bay says it was a combination of a lot of luck and a little skill that helped him and his first mate, Ryan Young, capture a 1,038-pound tuna.

“It’s quite a battle. There were a few long fights on Saturday. I was talking to one fisherman who fought one for over six hours,” Harris said from onboard his fishing vessel hunting for bait Monday evening.

“We fought ours for two hours. The fight wasn’t bad, but we had quite the battle at the side of the boat. He was fairly nasty …but we got him darted and tied on and taken ashore.”

Up to 320 Island fishermen can take part in the fishery. However, only about 280 have signed up this fall.

That’s mainly because most of the big fish are now off the province’s eastern coast, so many fishers in western P.E.I. are not taking part in the fall fishery.
Walter Bruce, chairof the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association Tuna Advisory Committee, said the fall fishery might be a short one. He said the 100-tonne quota could be caught before the end of the day Tuesday.

Fishermen caught 116 fish or about 40 tonne on Saturday.

Heavy winds prevented most boats from going out on Thanksgiving Monday.
Saturday’s heavy catch deflated prices, added Bruce.

“The numbers were too high,” said Bruce. “It’s a buyer’s market when you land that much, so it depressed the prices.”

Bruce himself was out fishing Saturday but wasn’t able nab a tuna. He fishes out of North Lake.

“I told my wife I worked very hard at not catching one,” he said with a laugh.  “And I succeeded.”

The tuna advisory committee had delayed the fall fishery until Oct. 8 because of huge tuna catches in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.