A longline is a fishing line usually made of monofilament. The length of the line generally ranges from 1.6km to as long as 100km. The line is buoyed by styrofoam or plastic floats. Every 20m or 30m, there is a secondary line attached extending down about 5m. This secondary line is hooked and baited with squid, fish, or in some cases discovered, with fresh dolphin meat. The lines are set adrift from vessels for a period of 12 to 24 hours.
Longlines are set to capture valuable fish sold at market being mainly tuna and swordfish. However, longlines are indiscriminate and also catch hundreds of other species as incidental catch. Other forms of marine wildlife such as endangered turtles, sunfish and precious sharks see the bait from the waters below and get hooked when they try to eat the bait.
The baited hooks can also be seen by albatross from the air and when they dive on the hooks, they are caught and they drown. As many as 100 million hooks a year are set by the Japanese fleet alone in the Southern bluefin tuna fishery. Tens of thousands of birds are being killed annually.
Some bird deterrents are placed on longlines to reduce the incidental catch of seabirds, however longlines continue to kill marine life at alarming rates within Australian waters. Fish should only be caught with one hook, line and sinker and the destructive practice of longlining needs to be banned immediately
Blue Seals have designed a postcard for the public to be able to communicate to the Environment Minister that Long Lining needs to be Outlawed. Long Lining is needlessly killing precious marine life and is destroying the health of our oceans and it is the Australian Government that needs to implement laws to end this highly destructive practice.
The campaign also assists in promoting Blue Starfish - a newly established organisation in Bondi which aims to make Bondi the first Sustainable Seafood suburb….and gets people thinking about how and where their seafood has been caught.
Postcards will be distributed at stalls and delivered to people's homes around the Bondi area. If you would like to help us and get signed postcards - we'd be delighted to send you out a handful in the post today!
Once we have over 2,000 signed postcards we will be personally delivering the message to the Environmental Minister, Tony Burke that Long Lining needs to be Outlawed in Australian Waters immediately!
The BP Disaster is
now the worst oil spill in our nation's
history and everyday the destruction continues. Neither BP nor
the government know how much oil has been spilled in the Gulf and their
estimates continue to get worse. Meanwhile, the oil's impacts
are just beginning to be felt. Untold thousands of marine
animals have died and over a quarter of the Gulf of Mexico has now been
contaminated. It is not known whether local populations of fish,
shrimp, birds and sea turtles will ever recover.
The Blue Seals'
team will be conducting ground and aerial reconnaissance of the spill
in an urgent effort to help raise awareness of this growing national
marine crisis. In addition, the Blue Seals are now working to
transport life-saving equipment from Europe to aid in the protection
of the gulf's fragile estuaries and bays.
A long-time collaborator
of Captain Paul Watson and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (made
famous by Animal Planet's "Whale Wars"), the Blue Seals intend
to film and photograph the devastation to raise public awareness about
the scope of the disaster and to encourage individuals to take action.
The Blue Seals is a non-profit organization founded with the belief that healthy oceans and the environmental services they provide to our planet are fundamental to our collective survival. The Blue Seals is an active network spread out across the globe that brings together conservation activists, international philanthropists, and Hollywood personalities.
The Blue Seals' mission in the Gulf of Mexico marks the first time in history that this newly-formed team will take their training into the air and sea in a courageous effort to help raise awareness about the horrific toll that crude oil can have on critically-important marine ecosystems.