Tuna Cup is big catch in Tignish
Tuna fishermen in western P.E.I. say fishing is "lovely" at the Tuna Cup, but they're ready for a commercial fishery.
Tignish is hosting the MacLeod's Ledge Bluefin Tuna Cup this weekend.
On Friday, Ian Gauthier got his first bite within 45 minutes.
"All kinds of fish out there," Gauthier said, calling it a "lovely fishing day" despite a rough start weather-wise in the morning.
Until recently, MacLeod's Ledge was a disputed area claimed by P.E.I. and the Magdalen Islands of Quebec. The area is slowly becoming a tuna charter destination.
Tourism Minister Robert Henderson would like to see the industry grow.
"I would say it's probably a bit of a hidden secret up here with MacLeod's Ledge and the amount of tuna that was out there. They seem to be very plentiful. I think most boats landed a tuna," Henderson said.
Fishermen on the wharf dream of other opportunities. Gauthier says it's time for a commercial fishery because there is a lot of tuna in the water.
"It's great to have catch and release, but I'd sooner be doing commercial fishing if we could be doing that. We’ve got to make a bit of money somehow, so we're making some at catch and release," he said.
Last year, Fisheries and Oceans Canada began lobbying the international community to increase the tuna quota.