Nets and traps

The word gear means any thing we use to catch the fish. The common gears we use to catch fish are nets, lines, harpoons, traps etc.

Some times, people use different methods to catch fish like bomb fishing, poison fishing, electric fishing, light fishing (in Maldives we use to catch bait fish), magnet fishing etc. 


There are different nets we use to catch fish like seine nets, trawl net, lift net, cast net (falling net), gill net, drag net, drift net etc.

  1. Seine nets: – the seine nets are also called as surround nets. Another meaning for the word seine is big. The types of surround nets are 1. Beach seine, 2.  Boat seine, 3. Purse seine, 4. Lampara net. The surround nets contain the floaters (useful to uplift the net), sinkers to make the net stay vertically in the water.
  2. Beach seine: – A simple and commonly used fishing technique is beach seining, where the seine net is operated from the shore. One end of the net is tied to the tree or a pillar and another end of the net is normally taken by boat to make a loop in the inshore waters and comes back to the beach. The net is usually hauled in twilight time to get variety of fish. In this type of fishing people use one boat.
  3. Boat seine: – this net is operated away from the shore. In this type of fishing two boats are used. One end of the net is tied to a boat and another end of the net is taken by a boat to make a loop in the ocean around the fish and comes back to the big boat. The net is usually hauled by the cranes.
  4. Purse seine: – purse seine nets are constructed with mesh of a size smaller than the fish being targeted. This net is also operated away from the shore. In purse seine fishing two boats are used. This net operation is almost like boat seine, but having zip is the difference. After the net is set around the fish the zip is pulled to close the bottom of the net.
  5. Lampara net: – the lampara net is similar to purse seine, but it has characteristic scoop shape rather than being flat. The lampara net is towed by two boats to catch the fish. Once the fish enter or entangle in scoop of the net the net is hauled.
  6. Trawl net: – the word trawl means “travelling”. There are two types of trawl nets are used to catch the fish. The trawl net is towed by a powerful boat. The trawl net usually contains a collapsed mouth, to keep the mouth open people either use beam or otters.

Beam trawl: – To keep thenet’s mouth open people use a beam. The beam trawl’s mouth never closes. People use either one beam or two to open the net’s mouth.

beam trawl

Otter trawl: – to keep the net’s mouth open people use otters . The otters are usually made by aluminium; the aluminium gets positive charge when it moves in water so the otters move away so the net’s mouth opens. The otter trawl net is better net when compare with the beam trawl.

otter trawl

Cast net: – this net is used by a single person in shallow water , the cast net contains only sinkers, which makes the net move downwards swiftly to catch the fish. The cast net is not used in rocky shore to avoid the damage to the net.


Lift net: – the lift net is used to catch the bait fish in Maldives. The net is lifted mostly by using the man power or mechanical power. The lift net usually lowered before fishing and mast is used to attract the fish or light is used. Once the fish aggregates the net is lifted to collect the fish.



Gill net:-  a gill net are set vertically in the water to entangle fish. The net can be set at the sea surface or in contact with the seabed. The size of the mesh in the net determines the size and the species caught. The small fish can pass through the mesh. The fish bigger than the target size can not fit in the mesh so they move away, but when the target sized fish pass through, the horizontal lines in mesh stops the forward movement of the fish, so ,as soon as fish tries to come back, the vertical lines enter between operculum and gill, so fish gets trapped.  There are three types

  1. Epi pelagic gill net
  2. Meso pelagic gill net
  3. Bathy pelagic gill net.

Drift net: – the word drift means moving freely along with the current. The drift nets are allowed to drift free in sea. This net contains floaters and sinkers but not anchors. Because drift nets are not anchored to the sea bottom or connected to a boat, they are sometimes lost in currents.
The drift nets are banned throughout the world because it kills many fish while it is moving. The net gets weight when it catches fish so it submerges (so fishermen can not see), it comes up when fish spoils and catches the fish further. The drift net is some times described as the gill net with out anchor.
Drag net: – the drag net is dragged at the bottom of the sea or ocean by using powerful boats. This net is also banned throughout the world because this net spoils the substratum of many organisms. Some drag nets contain sharp blades which cut the corals.
Pots and traps:- traps are usually baited and set on the seabed with a line to a surface float. A wide range of trap designs is used to take crustaceans such as lobsters and crabs, and some species of fish. Pots and traps are set in arrange of depths form a few metres to deeper than 200m.


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