This week’s Fish4Life Challenge Theme is Fishing Gear. Read on to find out more about how the type of gear used affects our oceans and wildlife.
There is evidence that humans have been fishing for over 30,000 years! You can imagine that over time our methods and equipment have greatly improved in their technology and efficiency. Instead of just using a single line and hook, or throwing out a small net from a boat, we now have huge fishing vessels with lines over 10,000m long carrying thousands of hooks, and enormous nets that can surround and scoop up a whole school of fish.
An unfortunate side-effect of some of these commercial methods is the amount of by-catch they collect. That is, animals that are unintentionally caught by those fishing methods, which are often thrown back injured or dying. Another issue with some types of fishing gear is that they can damage the habitat they are used in, for example the trawling and dredging equipment when it is dragged over the ocean floor.
However, not all fishing gear is damaging, and many of the gear types that in the past have been responsible for a lot of by-catch, are now being closely monitored and improved to reduce this issue.
The gear that has the least impact on by-catch and habitats are handlines, squid jigs, dive fishing and target-specific purse seine nets. These methods are very good at targeting the desired fish. So if you have a choice, look for fish caught by methods that have the least impact.
MOVIE – Ryan, Marine Mammals Keeper, Taronga Zoo, talks about fishing gear.
Footage Courtesy of Ovation Media has been sourced from the Documentary “The End of the Line”. Click here to find out more.Other photos and images are provided courtesy of the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) and Greenpeace.
For more information and facts on fishing methods, go to:
Australian Marine Conservation Society- Fishing Gear in Focus
Greenpeace - Fishing Techniques
How long can a fishing line be? Find out here.
This week's Sustainable Seafood Recipe is Tempura Whiting and Vegetables.
Click here to test your knowledge with this week's quick quiz.