What is Longlining?
In the 1980s, longlining became an increasingly popular method of fishing, partly in response to the increasing demand for high-quality, high-value fish destined for the clientele of upmarket restaurants.
Many nations have fishing vessels engaged in longlining, but the fisheries of particular concern are those targeting Southern Bluefin Tuna and Patagonian Toothfish. During line setting, longliners set a single line up to 130 km long behind the boat. Attached to it are literally thousands of baited hooks. An estimated 1 billion hooks are set annually by the world's longline fleets.
Some of the baited hooks are eaten not by their intended targets, but by albatrosses and other seabirds. The hooked birds are dragged under water and drown. Simple methods for reducing the number of birds caught are available and BirdLife's Campaign to Save the Albatross is seeking to ensure that these measures are used.
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