Pole and Line
Pole and line fishing accounts for roughly 10% of the world’s tuna catch.
Though the method has existed for centuries, it is less utilized method now than it has been historically. For example, Pole and line catches from vessels based in the Pacific Islands area reached a maximum roughly 30 years ago, when the number of locally-based pole-and-line vessels operating in the region was between 100 and 120. By 2002, the number had declined to 14; and by 2006, it was only 12.
The major pole and line producers are Japan (125,000 tons of skipjack and yellowfin annually), Indonesia (100,000 tons), and the Maldives (100,000 tons). The world’s production is roughly 400,000 tons annually, and there are between 100,000 and 150,000 tons of pole and line caught skipjack and yellowfin on the international market.
Pole and line virtually eliminates bycatch of sharks, turtles and other larger marine animals. Vessels typically use live bait, like sardines and anchovies. Pole and line vessels can also use anchored FADs or other floating objects, like vessels with bright lights at night to attract tunas. Once these objects have attracted tuna, the small baitfish are released into the water. Fishers then use poles with hooked lines to catch fish during the feeding frenzy.
Reported fuel consumption by vessels fishing tuna species in 2009 varied by ocean basin, species and type of gear. The greatest difference between fisheries are seen when comparing fisheries using purse seine gear to those deploying other gears, and when comparing fisheries harvesting skipjack, yellowfin and bigeye tunas to those fishing albacore and bluefin species. Pole and line vessels consumed 1,485 L/t.