Explained: tuna fishing by pole and line

Tuna is one of the most popular fish species to eat. Many tuna stocks worldwide are under great pressure. Though, eating tuna in a responsible way is possible! Always make sure to buy tuna that is MSC-certified and is caught by pole and line. We would like to show you the beautiful and interesting world of pole and line fishing. Come aboard and travel with us to the Maldives, to the island of Mandhoo, where the tuna fishermen of Horizon Fisheries are located.

The tuna fishermen of Horizon Fisheries catch skipjack tuna in the Indian Ocean. They sail on a dhoni, which is a traditional Maldivian fishing boat. After collecting live bait during night time, they start catching tuna – one by one – at dawn. We as Fish Tales try to visit Horizon Fisheries on a regular basis, to connect on a personal level with the fisherman, collect information regarding working conditions and of course to go out fishing! This way we stay close to the people we work with.

Pole and line caught tuna

Pole and line fishing is a very environmentally friendly and selective catching method. This technique guarantees that bycatch and damage to nature are close to zero and that other ocean creatures remain unharmed.

By cathing tuna with pole and line, the fishermen of Horizon Fisheries ensure that fish stocks remain healthy. With pole and line it is impossible to fish large amounts of tuna at once. This in contrast to large boats that use nets to catch tuna and thus empty large parts of the ocean.

Employment opportunities

But that is not the only advantage of this catching method. Pole and line fishing is labour-intensive. Because every fish is caught with a single rod, you logically need a lot of fishermen. And because all fishermen come from the same neighbourhood, this method creates employment for the local population.

Fishing with pole and a line is also strongly interwoven with the culture of the fishermen on the islands. It is therefore important to continue to support these fisheries, so that the fishermen do not have to switch to an intensive way of fishing.