Unfinished Business: Threats to Big Fish Still Need Our Attention

Ken Hinman

In this summer’s edition of the Wild Oceans Horizon, I wrote about the tremendous progress we’ve made securing measures to save big fish from indiscriminate fishing and aid in the recovery of billfish, bluefin tuna and oceanic sharks.

Today, large areas off the east and west coasts are closed to fishing with multi-mile longlines and drift nets, forcing innovative commercial fishermen to develop more selective, sustainable alternatives. Strict caps on the bycatch of protected and depleted species give fishermen added incentive to fish cleanly.

These and other modifications (e.g., circle hooks and buoy-gear) are in turn being exported to other countries fishing the high seas, while we close U.S. markets to fish caught as bycatch with indiscriminate gears.

All together, these measures have left thousands and thousands of big fish alive in the water.  And yet there are still serious threats that need our attention, among them:

Read more here, Sustainable Fishing for Big Fish: A Work in Progress.

About Ken Hinman

Ken Hinman, president of Wild Oceans, has spent almost 40 years bringing fishermen and environmentalists together to protect the future of fishing.

1 comment on “Unfinished Business: Threats to Big Fish Still Need Our Attention

  1. It would be great to see these articles differentiate between pelagic/surface longlines and benthic/seafloor longlines. The longlines used by our members are anchored to the bottom, have zero by catch of billfish, and are 1-4 miles in length–far shorter then the pelagic longlines described in these articles. The only risk to seabirds is during the setting process, a risk Alaska longline fishermen proactively mitigated by supporting mandatory deployment of tory lines, which scare birds away from longline gear as it is set.

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