Long line fishing has always been a problem, and a severe issue with the death of many animals that were not meant to be caught known as bycatch. In the Gulf of Mexico long line fishing is used to catch swordfish and yellow fin tuna. But the bycatch has included Atlantic blue-fin tuna, which is an endangered species in the Gulf. The Gulf has become a spawning ground for the blue-fin, it has been illegal since 1982. Although it is okay for some long liners to catch blue-fin occasionally. It is a loophole says a researcher who is tying to figure out a way of protecting the blue-fin. Many researchers are working on a pilot project with gulf swordfish and yellow fin tuna fishermen that involves testing two different alternate fishing methods to have less of an effect on the blue fin.
The scientist have been working with fishermen and trying to implement swordfish buoy gear, the fisherman say that suprisingly it decreases the bycatch of Atlantic blue fin but they do not know why.”The gear is tended, so any fish that you do catch is quickly seen and brought into the boat for sale or quickly released” alive, said Dr. Kerstetter, a researcher who has been trying to help the blue-fins numbers increase.