Fish and Fishery Facts - Fishery Basics

Fisheries are complex, but knowing some of the basics can help you start your investigation of fisheries. Included in this section is information about where we harvest fish, what type of fishermen exist in the world, explanations of the variety of fishing boats used, images and descriptions of the most commons types of fishing gear used, and descriptions of how and when fish move from fishermen to our plates. Additionally, we focus in detail on the life history, fishery history, current fishery structure, and challenges in the current fishery of the seven California fisheries highlighted in the Voices of the Bay Fisheries Education Curriculum.

Where do we fish?

From local (Monterey Bay) fishing grounds to International waters, fishermen harvest seafood from various parts of the ocean.

Also, some parts of the ocean have restrictions on what activities can occur, these are called Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

Fishing Vessel Types

Fishermen need different types of vessels (boats) to fish for different species of seafood and in different parts of the ocean. The name of the type of boat often tells you about the fishing gear that is used. There are eight common types of fishing vessels:

  1. Seiners
  2. Trawlers
  3. Trap Setters
  4. Line Vessels
  5. Gillnetters
  6. Dredgers
  7. Lift Netters
  8. Handliners

Fishery Science Biology and Ecology

How many types of fish are in the world? What are they? Where do they live? Do fish lay eggs or have baby fish?

California Fisheries

There are numerous fisheries in California, from small Sardines to feisty Lingcod to tasty Dungeness Crab. We have highlighted the life history, fishery history, current fishery structure, and challenges in the seven common fisheries in central California:

  1. Pacific Sardines
  2. Spot Prawns
  3. Sole (Flatfish)
  4. Pacific Albacore Tuna
  5. Chinook / King Salmon
  6. Dungeness Crab
  7. Market Squid

Fishing Gear

There are many different species of seafood and thus many different ways to catch them. There are ten common types of fishing gear:

  1. Surrounding Nets
  2. Trawl Nets
  3. Traps & Pots
  4. Hook & Line
  5. Gillnets & Entangling Nets
  6. Seine Nets
  7. Dredges
  8. Lift Nets
  9. Falling Gear
  10. Grappling & Wounding Gear
  11. Stupefying Devices

As long as people have been fishing, fishermen have been changing their gear to better catch the target species and avoid the non-target species.

Learn more about changes in fishing gear over time. Fishermen follow gear regulations to make sure there are fish left to catch tomorrow.

Learn more about gear regulations.

Seafood Markets

What is the process of getting fish from the ocean to the fish sticks on your plate?