P.E.I. fishermen hooked 144 tuna today in the first eight hours of fishing says the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

In her ten years on the job as manger of the North Lake wharf, Sheila Eastman said she's never seen tuna landings like this.

It's likely these are record catches, said Colin MacIsaac, head of resource management for DFO on P.E.I.

DFO planned to shut the fishery down when half the catch was in, but MacIssac doesn't expect that target of 200 fish to be reached until sometime tonight.

"We are at about 36 per cent right now. We had suggested that when we approached 50 per cent that we'd be anticipating a closure," said MacIssac. "We don't think we'll be there this evening, although we'll be approaching it. So, we're going to leave the fishery open through the night.

DFO will continue to monitor landings and anticipate a closure midday Tuesday.

Depending how much catch is left, DFO will work with the Tuna Advisory Committee to decide if fishermen go out again, or if leftover quota is tacked onto the catch next year, MacIsaac said.

If fishermen catch too much, they lose that fish from next year's allotment, he added.