P.E.I. tuna fisherman getting Atlantic bluefin quota increase

P.E.I. tuna fishermen will see an increase in the quota for Atlantic bluefin tuna this year.

The quota will increase by about 30 tonnes

This photo taken on April 25, 2011, shows an Atlantic bluefin tuna being lifted by a crane during the opening of the season for tuna fishing in the port of Barbate, Cadiz province, southern Spain. (Emilio Morenatti/The Associated Press)

P.E.I. tuna fishermen will see an increase in the quota for Atlantic bluefin tuna this year.

The quota will increase by about 30 tonnes, which works out to about 100 tuna.

According to a news release from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, there are more than 300 tuna fishermen across P.E.I.

Jeff MacNeill is one of them. He says the increase in quota could bring in a lot of extra income, especially given that last year, fishermen were receiving about $6,000 to $7,000 for an average-sized tuna.

"If I'm allowed one extra bluefin tuna, that's quite a sizeable increase in my income," MacNeill told CBC News.

He says that in the last few years, he's been seeing more tuna than ever before.

"It's incredible. Here in August and September, they were literally so thick you could walk on them," said MacNeill.

Previous increases in the quota have been criticized by conservationists. In Nov. 2014, Katie Schleit of the Ecology Action Centre in Halifax said an increase approved at that time was a bad idea.

"It seems like a really short-sighted decision given where the population level is," she said.

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