Similar Methods
  • Midwater trawl

    Also known as ‘pelagic trawls’, midwater trawls are a type of towed gear that is operated in the mid-water column. They are used to target shoals of pelagic fish such as seabass, mackerel and herring. Midwater trawls include midwater otter trawls and midwater pair trawls.

  • Bottom trawl

    A type of towed gear that operates in direct contact with the sea bed. Bottom trawls are large, cone-shaped nets with a wide mouth held open by trawl doors or otter boards, tapering to a narrow ‘cod-end’ where the catch is gathered. Selectivity in trawl nets can be determined by mesh size and shape. Bottom trawls include beam trawls, bottom otter trawls and bottom pair trawls. Bottom trawls may cause significant but localized damage to the sea bed. Semi-pelagic trawls, which target demersal species and may sometimes contact the seabed, are also included here.

  • Dredge

    A type of towed gear used to capture shellfish that is operated in direct contact with the sea bed. Dredges consist of a heavy chain bag attached to a bar, which scrapes the sea bed disturbing shellfish, which are then collected in the chain bag. Dredges may cause significant but localized damage to the sea bed. Dredges include mechanical and hydraulic boat dredges and lighter hand dredges.


Similar Methods
  • Purse seine

    A circular net used to capture large shoals of fish such as tuna, salmon and mackerel. The gear is characterized by a purse line that draws the bottom of the net closed, surrounding and trapping the target shoal.

  • Associated purse seine

    Purse seine fisheries may be categorised as 'unassociated' or 'associated'. Associated purse seine refers to fisheries where the purse seine net is set around floating objects or fish aggregating devices (FADs).

  • FAD-free (unassociated) purse seine

    Purse seine fisheries may be categorised as 'unassociated' or 'associated'. Purse seine gear that is set around free-swimming schools of fish is known as FAD-free (unassociated) purse seine.

  • Seine nets

    A long, vertical surrounding net that is hauled by ropes at either end of the net. Seine nets may be operated by boats (boat seines such as the Danish seine) or from shore (beach seines).

  • Cast nets

    A circular net that is thrown flat onto the water surface and is used to catch fish and shrimp near the surface.

  • Lift nets

    Horizontal nets used to catch small pelagic fish and squid. Lift nets are submerged near the water surface and hauled out of the water mechanically or by hand.

  • Gillnets and entangling nets

    Gillnets hang vertically in the water column with the aid of a weighted footrope and floats attached to a headrope. They may be hung at different depths in the water column and can be anchored to the sea bed or drifting. Catch selectivity is determined by mesh size and net depth, with target species becoming entangled by their gills when they swim through the net.


Similar Methods
  • Hook and line

    Hook and line is a non-specific gear type where the fish is caught on baited hooks attached to a line. Hook and line gears may be manually or mechanically operated and range from a single line to many lines with many hooks. Hook and line gears are operated at a range of depths and are used to capture a variety of species.

  • Longlines

    Anchored or drifting lines are suspended in the water column with the aid of floats and weights. A main line is attached to smaller lines with many baited hooks attached. Longlines may be used as pelagic or bottom gear. Hook and bait types will also vary depending on target species.

  • Handlines and pole-lines

    A single pole and line operated by individual fishers that is used to catch tuna and similar large pelagic fish one by one. Bait may be thrown into the water to attract fish to the surface. Handlines and pole-lines are a highly selective gear type, resulting in very low bycatch. They may be mechanized or hand operated.


Similar Methods
  • Rake / hand gathered / hand netted

    Rakes, hand netting and hand gathering methods are used to collect shellfish and crustaceans directly from the seabed or coastal areas. Species such as scallops, abalone and lobsters may be individually collected by divers by hand, whilst some shellfish can be collected from intertidal areas using a spade or rake. This is considered a low impact fishing method. Other gear types covered by this category include hand nets including push nets, a type of scoop that is pushed along the sea bed and is typically used to catch shrimp.

  • Pots and traps

    Pots and traps comprise baited cages or baskets, with one or more openings, into which animals are lured. They are typically used to target crustaceans, as well as fish and other species such as squid and octopus. Connected by a line, they are dropped onto the sea bed and are used at a range of depths. The gear is often hauled up by hand unless set at a greater depth. Unwanted catch can usually be released alive, making pots and traps a highly selective static gear type.

  • Harpoon

    Steel-pointed gear that is either shot by a gun or thrown by hand at the target species and is connected to a line for retrieval. Harpoons are operated in surface waters and are used to catch fish one-by-one.

  • Miscellaneous

    This category includes less commonly used gear types such as pumps, a type of gear that uses suction to draw masses of squid or small fish on board from surface-waters.

  • Gear not known

    Used to describe a fishery where there is a lack of information regarding the types of gear operated by the fishers.


Similar Methods
  • Farmed

    Fish farming, known as aquaculture, produces fish and shellfish in a controlled environment. Aquaculture production systems may be extensive, semi-intensive, or intensive, and utilize a range of production methods including open nets, ponds, suspension culture, and recirculating systems.