At 6am this morning we attended a tour of the only tuna auction in the US. Digging deeper into fishery management is showing us how and why we’re managing our fisheries. We heard how the shape of fish hooks is important for minimizing by-catch mortalities. By using a more closed off hook as opposed to a J hook, fisherman are able to free untargeted catches without harming them much easier. These types of hooks are designed to pierce the hard cheek tissue in the fish instead of the soft throat tissue. This helps reduce by-catch mortalities especially with Turtles.
We also learned that 20% of tuna fishing boats have to have a federal observer and 100% of sword fishing boats need one. This helps the fisherman properly identify species that may be protected, and ensures the fishmen are operating within the proper protocol.