You wouldn’t throw out a can of tuna for no good reason. So when forced to discard a 360 kilogram tuna worth somewhat of a small fortune, it is painful for the person throwing it back no doubt.
That’s just what happened to a Twillingate fisherman last week. Ivan Regular accidentally caught the massive tuna in his herring net.
But it was reported in various media that he was told by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to throw it back since he didn’t have a tuna licence, and even if he did, the season was closed.
Imagine throwing away upwards of $400,000, the price a tuna of similar weight fetched in Japan recently. It has to hurt.
It might not seem fair to the fishermen, but if he were allowed to keep the hefty by-catch it might just set a precedent for other fisheries. All of a sudden there are other tuna being “accidentially” caught.
So it is understandable that Mr. Regular was told to discard what could have been a welcome windfall, and he followed the regulations as advised. But to throw it back in the water just seems wasteful when there are food banks in this province with volunteers working tirelessly to keep the shelves stocked.
Wouldn’t this one fish have gone a long way to feed possibly hundreds of people? It probably isn’t every day that fresh fish is available to food bank clients – if at all.
The waters and lands of this province have a bounty of vegetation, meat and fish to offer, but it is definitely not ours for the taking. The reality is there are people — maybe even a friend, family member or neighbor of yours — who may go to bed hungry sometimes. That just doesn’t make sense when you hear stories like this.