Bottom Longline with Hooks
The longline consists of a long rope, spooled on a hydraulic drum, which fish harvesters set from the stern of their vessels. Baited hooks are fastened to this rope using clips or swivels. The longline is set along the ocean floor where bottom-dwelling fish live. It is marked on the ocean surface using a float and flagpole at each end. Fish harvesters can set several longlines at a time and haul them regularly to land their catch. Once aboard, the hooks are baited again, if need be, and the longline is reset.
In B.C., many different species are caught on bottom longlines. These include halibut, sablefish, dogfish, lingcod, flatfish and rockfish. About 150 to 180 vessels actively participate in the halibut fishery each year. The vessels range in size from 35 to 80 feet (20 to 25 metres).