There are three main ways of catching fish:
- by towing trawls or dredges,
- by surrounding fish by nets,
- by static means.
Accordingly different types of fishing equipment are used:
- towed or dragged gear: bottom trawling, mid-water trawling, dredging, seine netting,
- encircling gear: purse seining, encircling gill nets,
- static gear: set gill nets, drift gill nets, long lines, lift nets, pots and fish traps.
Bottom fishing (demersal) is carried out by towing a large, conical net (trawl) near the sea bottom. Three typical net configurations are used: side trawling, beam trawling and stern trawling. The following methods are used for surface fishing (pelagic); purse seining, pair seining, gill netting, long lining, hand lining, rod lining and midwater trawling.