(click picture for a short animation)
Longlining employs a central fishing line that can range from one to 50 miles long; this line is strung with smaller lines of baited hooks, dangling at evenly spaced intervals. Longlines can be set near the surface to catch pelagic fish like tuna and swordfish, or laid on the sea floor to catch deepdwelling fish like cod and halibut. Many lines, however, can hook sea turtles, sharks and seabirds that are also attracted to the bait. By sinking longlines deeper or using different hooks, fishermen can reduce the bycatch problem.