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

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

Steve Sharratt
Published on April 6, 2014

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

©Australian government

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