When it comes to fishing, one of the most essential tools used by fishermen worldwide is the fishing net. Fishing nets have been used for centuries and have evolved to meet the specific needs of different fishing environments and target species. In this article, we will explore the various types of fishing nets used across the globe, highlighting their unique features and applications.

fishing net

The Gillnet: A Versatile Fishing Net

The gillnet is a widely used fishing net that is known for its versatility. It consists of a series of vertical panels of netting suspended in the water, creating a wall-like structure. The mesh size of the net allows fish to swim through and become entangled, making it an effective tool for catching a wide range of species.

Gillnets are commonly used in both freshwater and marine environments. In freshwater, they are used to catch fish such as salmon, trout, and pike. In marine environments, gillnets are used to target species like herring, cod, and tuna. The use of gillnets is regulated in many countries to prevent overfishing and protect endangered species.

The Cast Net: A Skillful Technique

Another popular type of fishing net is the cast net. This net is thrown by hand in a circular motion, spreading out in the water and sinking to capture fish. The cast net requires skill and precision to ensure a successful catch.

Cast nets are commonly used in coastal areas and are particularly effective for catching baitfish like mullet and sardines. They are also used by recreational fishermen for catching small fish from piers and shorelines. The size of the mesh can vary depending on the target species and local regulations.

The Trawl Net: Efficient for Large-Scale Fishing

For large-scale commercial fishing, trawl nets are often employed. These nets are designed to be towed behind a fishing vessel, capturing fish in their path. Trawl nets can be several meters wide and can cover a large area, making them highly efficient for catching large quantities of fish.

Trawl nets are commonly used in the fishing industry to catch species like shrimp, squid, and various types of fish. They are equipped with floats and weights to keep the net open and close to the seafloor. The use of trawl nets has raised concerns about bycatch, as they can unintentionally capture non-target species and damage the seafloor habitat.

The Trap Net: A Passive Fishing Method

Trap nets, also known as fish traps or fyke nets, are a passive fishing method that relies on the natural behavior of fish. These nets consist of a series of interconnected chambers that guide fish into a central compartment, where they are trapped.

Trap nets are commonly used in freshwater environments, such as rivers and lakes, to catch species like eels, catfish, and crayfish. They are also used in some coastal areas to catch crabs and lobsters. Trap nets are considered a sustainable fishing method as they allow for the release of non-target species and reduce the impact on the environment.

Exploring different types of fishing nets used across the globe provides us with a deeper understanding of the diverse fishing techniques employed by fishermen worldwide. Each type of net has its own advantages and limitations, and their use is often influenced by local regulations and environmental considerations.


In conclusion, fishing nets play a crucial role in the global fishing industry. From the versatile gillnet to the skillful cast net, the efficient trawl net, and the passive trap net, each type of fishing net offers unique benefits and applications. By understanding the different types of fishing nets used across the globe, we can appreciate the ingenuity and adaptability of fishermen in their pursuit of the ocean's bounty.