West Coast-based: This fishery targets bigeye and yellowfin tunas using deep-set longline gear during fall and winter. U.S. West Coast-based vessels must fish on the high seas outside of the exclusive economic zone ( EEZ). The use of shallow-set longline gear is prohibited, both within the EEZ and on the high seas, under the Fishery Management Plan for U.S. West Coast Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species. Tuna landings and ex- vessels value information for this sector is confidential and cannot be disclosed as less than 3 vessels have participated in the fishery since 2005.

Hawaii-based: Although managed by NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands Regional Office and the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council, the Hawaii longline fleet often fishes in the eastern Pacific Ocean. This fleet offloads in Hawaii during the spring and summer and in California ports during the fall and winter. As of 2012, there were slightly over 125 permitted Hawaii longline vessels. The fishery can be subdivided into two parts based upon the gear used. The shallow-set longline fishery operates with 100% observer coverage and targets swordfish. The deep-set longline fishery operates with 20% observer coverage and targets tuna. The entire longline fishery lands between 7,000 and 12,000 metric tons of migratory species annually with a value for the fishery of approximately $78 million.

A longline is compromised of a dropper line which suspends a drifting main line that extends horizontally in the water column from which gangion lines with hooks are attached.