Pots are used only for black cod, cod, and crab.
Pots are large steel-framed cages covered in net mesh. The baited pots are placed on the seafloor where they trap the fish or crab. Fish or crab enter the traps through tunnels but cannot escape. Later the pots are retrieved and the seafood are sorted on deck. Non-target species are returned alive to the sea.
In contrast to years past, very little fishing gear is lost at sea. The old problem of “ghost gear” (lost gear that continues to fish) has essentially disappeared. Because of improvements in cables, net materials, and fishing methods, the loss of a trawl is a very rare event. Pots must have biodegradable panels which allow fish to escape in the event that a pot is lost. Important changes in fishery management regulations allow longliners to fish at a slower and safer pace, so they can avoid setting more gear than they can recover. There are also strict rules in place to prevent seabirds from being accidentally caught in longline gear.