Longline fishing in the Gulf of Mexico results in tremendous bycatch of imperiled billfish, bluefin tuna and other pelagic species. It is time we rethink how we commercially fish in this body of water. In Switching Gears: Surface Longlining in the Gulf of Mexico, produced by Pew Environment Group, IGFA Conservation Director Jason Schratwieser offers this thought to a long term solution for reducing wasted bycatch in the Gulf of Mexico:
“We have found that closing areas to longlines does work to reduce bycatch significantly…We need to look at shifting how we fish in the Gulf of Mexico. I think we can find a happy medium to employ commercial anglers that provide quality seafood products to the U.S. and at the same time have healthy fisheries.”
Check out the full video, Switching Gears: Surface Longlining in the Gulf of Mexico, for interviews with Doug Olander, Editor-in-Chief of Sport Fishing Magazine, Andre Boustany of Duke University, Lee Crockett of Pew Environment Group, and Jason Schratwieser, Conservation Director at the IGFA.