Newlyn Fish Market - boats due to land.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Fishing gear and methods - a layman's guide and reference.

A great guide for anyone needing a better understanding and knowledge of the different fishing gear and methods in use by fishermen - though foucussed on the Scottish fishing fleets the same methods can be found all round the coast of the UK

"In early times man hunted fish to supply food for his family and himself, fishing from the sea shore or river bank, using spears, crude hooks and lines and simple traps. When he took to the water in the first rough dugouts, his field of operations was substantially extended. As the pattern of community living developed and preservation techniques such as drying and curing became established fish became not only food for the catcher but also a staple commodity of trade. Competition and technological advances slowly brought about improvements in fishing gear and new methods of capture appropriate to the target species sought were evolved by trial and error down through the centuries.

Today there is a wide range of towed fishing gear for catching fish on the seabed, just off the bottom and in mid-water suitable for all sizes of vessel working singly or in pairs. There are various types of seines used for surrounding large shoals of fish in open water or small shoals near the coast, static nets that catch fish by enmeshing them, traps for lobsters, crabs, salmon and sea trout, lines set to catch fish on baited hooks and dredges for scallops and queens. For those who for professional reasons need to know something about fishing gear and methods used today, or those who simply would like to know about the gear and methods used to catch the fish they eat, this booklet is offered as an introduction.

The main types of fishing gear used by Scottish fishermen and the species for which they are used are listed in the next section. References to the published literature are omitted from the text, and instead a ‘Reading List’ is appended on page 42."

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