Sustainable Fishing Methods Which Contribute to Ocean Conservation
It’s no secret that the actions of humans have damaged the oceans over the past couple of hundred years. You just have to look at what we’ve done to the Great Barrier Reef to know that action needs to be taken. One of those actions is to use sustainable fishing methods that don’t damage the environment or overfish the population.
Spearfishing and Harpooning
A throwback to how our ancestors used to fish, the spearfishing or “harpooning” method is a way of catching large fish, such as swordfish, with a barbed spear. The spear is either thrown by hand or fired from a spear gun that can work both in and out of the water. As the spear has to be aimed at a particular fish if you hope to catch it, there’s little possibility of catching other fish at the same time. This method also does not allow for mass fishing, as it can only catch one fish at a time, reducing the overfishing risk.
While it may sound like a method exclusive to Parisians, purse seining is dropping a net over a school of fish and closing the net around them. To close the net, fishermen must pull the edges like a drawstring you’d find on an old-fashioned purse, hence the name. If this method is used on fish that do not mix species in their schools, such as tuna and mackerel, there is very little bycatch, and the nets can be made in such a way that they leave space for young fish to escape, keeping the population at a steady amount.
Traps and Pots Fishing
A more hands-off approach to fishing is to use traps and pots. These traps are cages that are filled with bait and left at the bottom of the ocean or nets that are left floating in the water. The traps are designed to make them easy to enter but hard to escape, allowing fishermen to retrieve them at a later time. These kinds of traps are perfect for catching crustaceans such as lobsters and crabs, and the cages can be designed in such a way that young lobsters can escape. As they’re stationary, they also pose very little risk to other species, which makes this a highly targeted fishing method.
Using a Fishing Rod and Line
You can’t beat the classic fishing method of using a rod and a line. While most recreational fishers only have one hook attached to their line, professional fishers will have multiple hooks on the line to try and increase the number of fish they can catch in one outing. The lines aren’t particularly long, which means it’s easier to target the fish they want to catch. The fishermen closely monitor the line to remove any unwanted bycatch before they’re injured. This method also limits the number of fish that can be caught, reducing the risk of overfishing.
If we start to use more sustainable fishing methods, there’s a chance we can restore the fish populations in our oceans and do less damage to the environment. If you want to get the feeling of catching fish with a lot less work, you can do so in games and fishing slots instead, both options are also more sustainable than regular fishing.