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Conservas Emperatriz / Curiosities  / ONE HOOK, ONE LINE, ONE FISH AT TIME
PEscadores en el mar


As the name suggests, “one-by-one” fishing is about using one hook and one line, to catch tuna, one at a time.

This allows fishermen to catch only enough fish without endangering other species or smaller fish. Unlike what happens in trawling practiced by large commercial fleets, the centenary arts, practiced by the tuna boats of the region, are considered environmentally friendly, because they allow the fisherman to choose the fish and thus prevent unnecessary catches.

Method 1: Pole-and-line

Techniques and equipment vary according to region; usually, pole-and-line fishers throw live baitfish overboard and spray water onto the surface to attract tuna schools, a practice called chumming. Multiple fishers will gather on the deck of a fishing vessel and each use a single pole, line and barbless hook, to haul the catch, one-by-one from the sea. The barbless hooks enable a quick release so the fisher can quickly return their hook to the water.

Method 2: Handline

Techniques vary but typically an individual fisher will deploy a single line and hook from a stationary vessel. When a tuna bites, the fisher hauls it in by hand. Once landed on the vessel it is put on ice o maintain freshness.

Method 3: Troll

With this technique, multiple fishing lines are drawn through the water behind a moving vessel. Once a tuna has been hooked, fishers pull in the line to unhook the catch and set the line back in the water.

One-By-One tuna fishing


Environmentally sustainable

Highly selective

One-by-one methods yield virtually zero bycatch leaving sharks, turtles, marine mammals and seabirds unharmed.

No habitat damages

One-by-one fishing gear does not “soak” in the marine environment, meaning no habitat destruction and no risk of ghost fishing.

Low Intensity

On-by-one fisheries only have the capacity to catch a portion of a tuna school; limiting fishing pressure and supporting healthier stocks.

Socially responsible

Labour rich

One-by-one tuna catching methods employ more people per tonne of fish caught than large-scale industrial operations. Benefits cascade through local communities, generating a wave of economic activity and employment.

Culturally important

The origins of many one-by-one tuna fishing communities date back several hundred years. Tuna fishing is a way of life, and is embedded in local customs and cultures.

Local ownership

Typically, one-by-one fisheries operate in coastal waters and are locally owned. Local resources support local businesses, instead of sending those economic benefits offshore.

Font: International Pole & Line Foundation –