What are the advantages of pole and line fishing?

Pole and line fishing, also known as “handline fishing”, is one of the most traditional methods of catching fish. It is popular in many countries, especially in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. Despite the emergence of modern fishing gear and technologies, pole and line fishing remains a popular practice for numerous reasons. In this article, we will explore the advantages of pole and line fishing.

Environmental Sustainability

Pole and line fishing is an eco-friendly fishing method that utilizes sustainable and responsible practices. Unlike trawling, which can be destructive to marine habitats, pole and line fishing causes minimal damage to the environment. Since this method involves one fisher pulling one fish at a time, there is minimal bycatch, reducing the risk of catching unwanted aquatic species. As a result, pole and line fishing helps to promote responsible fishing practices, preserve fish stocks, and protect the marine ecosystem for future generations.

High-Quality Fresh Fish

Pole and line fishing are known for producing high-quality, fresh fish. Fish that are caught using handlines are free from stress, resulting in their meat being tender and of excellent quality. This method allows the fish to be quickly caught, bled, gutted, and chilled, ensuring that the fish’s flavor, texture, and quality are top-notch. Fish caught using a handline are also less likely to suffer from bruising or damage, making them more appealing to customers who want their fish to be visually perfect.


Pole and line fishing is a relatively inexpensive method compared to other fishing techniques. Fishers do not require high-tech tools or expensive boats, and they can use locally available materials such as bamboo, wood, or synthetic lines. This makes it a suitable option for small-scale fishers and artisanal fishermen who want to catch fish for their livelihood without investing too much money upfront. Plus, pole and line fishing can be practiced in shallow waters, making it accessible for many people.

Cultural Heritage

Pole and line fishing has been practised for thousands of years, and it is an important cultural practice in many countries. In some communities, this method of fishing is not just about catching fish but is also tied to cultural traditions and beliefs. For instance, in the Pacific Islands, pole and line fishing is a way of life that is critical to their food security, cultural identity, and social integration. By preserving this age-old tradition, pole and line fishing can help maintain cultural diversity and protect traditional knowledge about fishing practices.

Pole and line fishing offer various advantages, including environmental sustainability, high-quality fresh fish, cost-effectiveness, and cultural heritage preservation. Although this fishing method may not be as efficient as some modern fishing techniques, it remains an essential practice that provides numerous benefits for fishers, consumers, and the environment.

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