Longline fishing is a method of fishing which uses a long line that is fitted with multiple baited hooks. The line can range in length from a few hundred metres to several kilometres, and the number of hooks on the line can also vary widely depending on the target species and the fishing location.
Longline fishing is used for a variety of purposes, including commercial fishing and recreational fishing. Commercial fishers use longline fishing to catch a wide range of species, including tuna, swordfish, halibut, and cod. In some cases, longline fishing is also used to target bycatch species, which are unintended species that are caught during the fishing process.
One of the main advantages of longline fishing is that it can be used to target deep-water species that are difficult to catch using other fishing methods. Longline fishing is particularly effective for species that feed on smaller fish, such as tuna and swordfish. This is because the baited hooks used in longline fishing mimic the natural diet of these predatory species, which makes them more likely to take the bait.
Longline fishing can be a highly efficient method of fishing, but it is also associated with a number of environmental concerns. For example, bycatch of non-target species, including turtles, dolphins, and sharks, is a significant issue in longline fishing. In addition, longline fishing can damage seafloor habitats and reduce populations of vulnerable species.
Despite these concerns, many fishers continue to rely on longline fishing as a primary method of fishing. This is because it is often one of the most effective ways to catch large, predatory species that command high prices on the commercial market. However, there is growing recognition of the need to address the environmental issues associated with longline fishing, and efforts are underway to develop more sustainable fishing practices.
In summary, longline fishing is a method of fishing that uses a long line with multiple baited hooks. It is commonly used for commercial fishing, particularly to target deep-water species such as tuna, swordfish, halibut, and cod. While it is an efficient and effective fishing method, it is also associated with environmental concerns such as bycatch and damage to seafloor habitats. Therefore, there is a growing need to develop more sustainable fishing practices that reduce the negative environmental impacts of longline fishing.