Top | Sift

Off the hook

(article, Culinate staff)

The classic way for commercial fishermen to catch only the species they want is to tinker with the fishing method: using longlines, for example, instead of bottom trawling. Or changing up the type of fish hook. 

As the New York Times reported recently, a new weak hook is now the industry standard for commercial tuna fishers in the Gulf of Mexico. The hook is designed to snag the relatively sustainable yellowfin tuna while bending open under the weight of the heavier (and very endangered) bluefin tuna, letting the bluefin go free.

Dot Earth blogger Andrew Revkin, however, thinks the new rule mandating use of the weak hook doesn't go far enough to protect the bluefin. The bluefin tuna in question, of course, doesn't live only in the Gulf, but roams the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, where the weak hook won't necessarily be used.