No more baits

Published: Tuesday 15 November 2005

Lethal vessels (Credit: Seatturtle restoration project)The Taiwanese government has announced that it will dismantle 120 tuna longline vessels, about five per cent of its fleet. Environmentalists praised this reduction as a boon for marine animals injured and killed in large numbers by longlines in the Pacific Ocean.

Longline fishing is a technique in which thousands of baited hooks are strung on monofilament lines stretching as far as about 100 kilometres. An estimated 1.4 billion longline hooks are set in the world's oceans every year of which Taiwan has the largest number in the Pacific. Turtles, seabirds, sharks, billfish and other marine mammals are injured and killed every year by longlines in the Pacific. Now, a group of 1,007 international scientists from 97 countries is urging the un to implement a moratorium on longline fishing in the Pacific Ocean.

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