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 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 Atlantic Canada, many different species are caught on bottom longlines. These include halibut, haddock, cod and pollock. Each year, about 460 vessels actively participate in this small-boat fishery. In total, 2,405 vessels less than 45 feet are licensed to catch haddock. These vessels account for between 20 to 30 percent of all haddock caught in Atlantic Canada.