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Prince Edward Island fishermen fighting midwater trawlers

April 08, 2012

Journal Pioneer
April 4, 2012
By Eric McCarthy

ALBERTON The P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association is continuing to apply pressure in hopes of convincing federal Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield there’s too much at stake in allowing seiners to fish for herring with mid-water trawls.

“Herring are the queen of the sea,” said PEIFA president Mike McGeoghegan. “If the herring goes, everything goes with it.”

He noted tuna and other species of fish follow the herring.

McGeoghegan said inshore fishers are worried that the mid-water trawls have the ability to wipe out entire schools of fish.

Should the fishery in any area of the Gulf of St. Lawrence be decimated, no existing compensation programs are in place to mitigate losses, the PEIFA noted.

“They collapsed the fishery in Europe. They collapsed it in Western Canada and they collapsed it on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. How much documentation do you need to realize this is not a good fishery?” McGeoghegan asked.

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