Food & Drink
Choose hook and line-caught fish
Stray nets from fishing boats trap dolphins, turtles, and other sea life, while large commercial trawlers disrupt ocean floor ecosystems and result in unnecessary bycatch.
Choosing hook and line-caught fish, also called line-caught or pole-caught, encourages demand for a sustainable, bycatch-free seafood market by avoiding harmful practices like trawling and netting.
How to choose hook and line-caught fish
- Retailers and restaurants that supply line-caught fish can be found by searching for a species or a particular fishery in the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch Program or the Seafood Choices Alliance. If there aren't any near you, inform local stores/restaurants that you would like to see sustainable, line-caught fish offered.
- Look for eco-labeling, such as the Marine Stewardship Council certification, which should ensure that your fish, line-caught or otherwise, came from a sustainable and non-destructive fishery. You can also get seafood info while on the go with the Environmental Defense Fund's Seafood Selector To-Go! Also, research eco-labels to ensure that they are from independent sources.
- Be aware that some types of longline fishing result in high-mortality bycatch for sharks when the lines are not checked regularly. Also, other species of fish, sea turtles, and birds can can be caught with longline fishing. Ask your supplier what their methods of seafood capture entail. For more information on longlines, see below.
Choosing hook and line-caught fish helps you go green because…
- The ecosystem which contains that particular species will remain intact, and biodiversity will not suffer as a result of bycatch from netting and trawling.
- Line-caught fish can easily be returned to the sea if they are too small to harvest, helping to sustain populations.
- Organic Consumers Association - Seafood Trade Group Supports Ecolabeling
- Blue Ocean Institute - Shark-Longline Interactions
- Earthjustice - Bluefin Tuna: Vanishing Act
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