When you visit the working harbours of the North Cape Coastal region, you may see fishermen pull in with boats full of crab. Then begins the bustle as the longshoremen hop to work to unload and pack the fresh catch on ice. Lobster fishers and tuna anglers alike use the 12 working harbours of our region.
Fishing is deeply rooted in the history of the communities of western Prince Edward Island. In the North Cape Coastal Region, every spring, the excitement is palpable. Captains drive their flatbeds to the harbours, bearing the fishing boats that they will launch for “Setting Day”, which kicks off the opening of the lobster fishing season in May.
As you tour the North Cape Coastal region, come visit our working harbours; you’ll see lobster traps, painted sheds, pleasure craft and the boats of the inshore lobstermen who make their living harvesting lobsters. Want a chuckle? Be sure to read the boat names, it doesn’t get punnier than this.
Lobster on the Wharf
Looking for fresh seafood right from the fisherman? Our harbours are the ideal place to buy the very freshest lobster or oysters from our Atlantic waters. There are two lobster seasons on PEI. The first runs from May to June on the north side of the Island. During the second season, from August to October, boats go out from the south side harbours. Boats from 22-45 feet are used by most inshore lobster men. Even larger boats are used in the offshore fishery, where lobster men will go out to sea for several days at a time.
The bluefin tuna season in the North Cape Coastal region runs July 20 to October 31 with boats sailing out from Tignish Harbour. You can book a deep-sea fishing adventure on a boat, but usually you will be participating in catch-and-release fishing. When a fish is caught and kept for sale, it is under a government-regulated commercial tag registered to the captain of the ship. The tuna is then sold at auction or on consignment to brokers. The tuna pulled in can weigh from 300 to 1,200 pounds.
Take Highway 2 to its end at Tignish, near the northwest tip of the island. When Highway 2 ends in Tignish, turn left onto Church Street (Route 14), and then make an immediate right onto Dalton Avenue. When Dalton Avenue ends, turn right onto Route 12, and then after 1.6 km (1 mile) turn left onto Tignish Shore Road. Continue until Tignish Shore Road ends, and you will see the Tignish Run Lighthouse on the corner of Tignish Shore Road and Harbour Road.