Trolling has one of the lowest impacts on marine habitats and has one of the lowest bycatch rates compared to other fishing methods. For this reason, salmon trolling is currently certified as sustainable by Ocean Wise, a seafood certification system run by the Vancouver Aquarium.


To improve the sustainability of the fishery, troll fishermen also use barbless hooks, selective lures and revival tanks to improve the survival rate of non-targeted fish species. It is a highly selective, sustainable fishery. “Trolling is an environmentally responsible fishing method,” states the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch. “Fishermen can quickly release unwanted catch from their hooks since lines are reeled in soon after a fish takes the bait.”

Two studies in Canada and the United States also identified trolling as having one of the lowest impacts on the marine environment. Shifting Gears: Addressing the Collateral Impacts of Fishing Methods in U.S. Waters found that trolling has the least impact on marine habitats and the lowest rate of bycatch (unwanted fish). A similar Canadian study found the same results: on a scale of 100, with zero being the least severe impacts, trolling scored 22. “Hook and line gear…was considered to have low impacts on habitat and bycatch,” states the study How We Fish Matters by environmental groups.

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