Fishing nets have been used by humans for thousands of years as a means of catching fish and other aquatic organisms. Over time, the design and construction of fishing nets have evolved to better suit the needs of fishermen, as well as the environment in which they are used. In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the most common types of fishing nets, from gilling nets to trammel nets.
Gilling nets, also known as drift nets, are the simplest type of fishing net. They consist of a long mesh wall suspended in the water by buoys and held at the bottom by weights. Fish swim into the net, becoming caught in the mesh. Gilling nets are commonly used in commercial fishing, particularly for species that form schools, such as herring or mackerel.
Seine nets consist of a long, cylindrical net, suspended vertically in the water. The net is then drawn through the water, encircling the fish. The fisherman can then haul the net onto the boat, collecting the fish ensnared within it. Seine nets are commonly used in river and estuary environments, where fish forms aggregates.
Dragnet or Trawl Nets
Dragnet, also known as trawl, nets are used for catching fish that live close to the ocean floor. The net is pulled behind a boat, with the mouth of the net open wide to scoop up fish as it moves forward. Dragnet fishing is less selective than other forms of fishing because it catches almost everything in its path, including unwanted species and juveniles.
Purse Seine Nets
Purse seine nets are similar to sein nets, but they have an additional feature that allows them to encircle a school of fish entirely. The net is then cinched at the bottom, creating a purse-like shape which prevents the fish that were caught to escape. Purse seine nets are commonly used in commercial fishing for tuna and other large pelagic fish.
Tangle nets are also known as gill or trap nets. The net is vertical, with floats at the top and weights at the bottom. The fish swim into the net and get entangled in it. Tangle nets are often used for capturing crab, lobster or fish that move close to the bottom.
Trammel nets consist of three nets: the outer net, the middle net, and the inner net. The outer and inner nets are held vertical and fixed to the seabed, while the middle net is suspended with weights and floats. The fish enter the outer net and pass through the middle net, and if they are too large to pass through the holes in the net, they are caught in the inner net. Trammel nets are commonly used for catching fish that are sensitive to the weight of the net, like turbot or sea bream.
In conclusion, the type of fishing net used depends on the type of fish being caught, the environment, and the fishing technique employed. The evolution of fishing net technology has allowed fishermen to capture more fish with greater ease and efficiency. Still, there are concerns that the methods used for commercial fishing can be detrimental to marine ecosystems and the sustainability of fish species. Therefore, it is crucial for fishermen to use responsible and sustainable fishing practices to ensure the health and survival of fish populations and ocean habitats.