Swordfish – Atlantic (except U.S.), Longline
Swordfish are a large, migratory fish found in temperate and tropical waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. They grow reasonably fast and mature quickly. In the Atlantic Ocean, Swordfish are at a healthy abundance and fishing levels on this species are sustainable. However, in the Mediterranean Sea, it is likely that Swordfish are at a low abundance and that overfishing is occurring.
Longlines are the most common gear for catching swordfish worldwide. They result in large quantities of bycatch, including threatened or endangered species such as sea turtles, sharks and seabirds. In the Atlantic and Mediterranean, few international regulations have been implemented to reduce impacts on non-target species.
When fishing for Swordfish, longlines do not typically contact bottom habitats. However, because these fisheries catch several top-predator species, there is some concern that these fisheries may affect ocean food webs and ecosystems.