Scientific study of long-lining tuna will lead to destruction, warns MP

Steve Sharratt
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Pelagic longlines are not anchored and are set to drift near the surface of the ocean with a radio beacon attached so that the vessel can track them to haul in the catch, says the Australian Fisheries Management Authority

MacAulay warns that P.E.I. hook-and-line tuna fishery is facing threat from destructive practice

MONTAGUE - Cardigan MP Lawrence MacAulay insists a threat to the P.E.I. tuna industry is looming with the possible arrival of long-line tuna vessels gaining access to the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

"The hook and line tuna fishery that we have here is one of the best

managed and most sustainable fisheries in the world," said MacAulay.

The MP is calling on Federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea to deny the pending applications for scientific work that would involve test vessels using long-lines, which have never been used for tuna in the Gulf.

"It is well known the destruction long-line vessels can do to fisheries around the world, especially when it comes to tuna," said MacAulay.

"If the Minister considers allowing these types of vessels into our tuna fishery under the pretense of science, then all she is doing is allowing the destruction of the fishery."

Five independent science studies for the Gulf tuna fishery are currently being considered by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, including at least two proposals for scientific work to be done by 85-foot long-line vessels.

"If any scientific work needs to be done in the tuna fishery, hook and line vessels are more than capable of doing it," said MacAulay.

Link to international concern of long-lining


Organizations: Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Geographic location: P.E.I.

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Recent comments

  • Ed Gallant
    April 07, 2014 - 12:03

    When Island fishermen are only allowed one tag because of the pressure on tuna and the bio mass seems to be dwindling, why on earth would the DFO want to do a test market for long liners. There are no long line fisherman in the western gulf so who is going to do the testing and for whom, Highliner Seafood? If they want to see how many tuna are out there, give the fishers a 10 tag limit and see how they do. The govt is also testing a deadly fumigant to see if it really does contaminate our wells and causes cancer. Why not poke me in the eye with a stick to see if I go blind, makes about as much sense.Don't they know that you don't have to climb into your fridge each time you shut the door to know that the light goes out when you close it. There are some things you just know.

  • Riiiight
    April 07, 2014 - 06:56

    Scientific purposes huh? Just like Japan was whaling for research.

  • Philip Bettle
    April 06, 2014 - 19:11

    If ever there was a time to fight this hook,line and sinker this is it.Once these ships gain access they will not only catch tuna they will destroy this fishery..quotas yeah right so many honest factory ships we can probably just let them tell us what they caught',remember these baited hooks are not only going to catch just tuna.WHAT IS GAIL SHAW WAITING FOR?

  • Harperite lobbyist
    April 06, 2014 - 18:08

    The Japanese want to study lobster in the Gulf too. They'll require 4000 traps to do an appropriate study. There should be a lovely smell of fresh cooked lobster blowing in from the gulf this spring lol.

  • dubble feddup
    April 06, 2014 - 17:24

    I won't state my opinion of Gail Shea because it wouldn't posted, so let me say this ... If it was only western PEI people who suffered because of this stupisdity, I'd say "bring it on... let it happen"... The way I see it, they elected her, lettem suffer. But.. it isn't only western islanders that are going to suffer. However, I don't think she cares. I don't believe she'd stand up to the PM because she be tossed from cabinet and see her income drop. Probably her pension would drop a bit too, and that, I believe is why she's there in the first and only place.

  • feddup
    April 06, 2014 - 12:35

    After the mess she made of EI she is capable of anything

    • EvilLongliner
      April 10, 2014 - 11:07

      Wow, you guys are ignorant on the subject. For starters there are about 35 Canadian longline vessels operating in Canadian waters, mine included. All but 3 or 4 are 45' lobster boats not Japanese freezer trawlers. The science community wants research done to determine the biomass of the stocks. Pei fishermen were given the same guidelines to come up with a proposal on this as well but what did the island reps come up with for a plan? Basically nothing. This talk of "our fishermen only get one tag each" is tiresome as well. Reduce the fleet like we had to in NS and then maybe you will have an actual fishery instead of a 1 day derby.