The Longline in Between

by Mateus Bailon

Cancun, Mexico – July 2017


Finding This Mural

Google Map

Story Behind This Mural

Artist Statement

Longline fishing is a commercial fishing technique. It uses a long line, called the main line, with baited hooks attached at intervals by means of branch lines called snoods.

This fishing technique is quite controversial because of bycatch, fish caught while seeking another species or immature juveniles of the target species. This can cause many issues, such as the killing of many other marine animals while seeking certain commercial fish.

Seabirds can be particularly vulnerable during the setting of the line. As my work has been heavily focused on birds in the past years I decided to use a pelican as the key element of this mural. While this pelican is already trapped in the longline others are about to face the same destiny as they're getting prepared to dive into the ocean.

Besides seabirds and fish, longline fishing also victimizes other sea species such as dolphins, sharks and turtles, also depicted in the bottom of the mural getting attracted by the baited hooks.

The cables in front of the wall were incorporated to the artwork representing more fishing lines in the foreground, the heavy human intervention in the natural food chain and the consequently lack of sustainability in certain fishing techniques.

The Focus


Take Action

If you do eat seafood (marine life), you can be a responsible consumer by:

  • Choosing to eat species that are lower on the foodchain. Think sardines over tuna.
  • Refer to consumer guides such as Seafood Watch and only eat species that are considered sustainable and/or invasive.
  • Look out for catch harvested using non-commercial, more sustainable fishing methods such as spearfishing and pole-and-line.