Since the ancient times, ships are being used for fishing purposes. Fish is an integral part of so many cuisines through out the world that a dearth of fish is something unacceptable. For this purpose fishermen use various types of ships or boats, exploring deep oceans to supply the requisition.
Fishing is done in numerous ways depending on the location where it is being done. There are basically two types of fishing - deep sea fishing and fresh water fishing. Fishing vessels are used in water bodies such as sea, rivers and even lakes. Fishing is not only done for consumption and commercial purposes but also for recreational purposes. Fishermen through out the world use fishing vessels according to the size and the type of the catch required.
Deep sea fishing is not an easy task as it requires specialized equipments and storage facilities. Also, some of the species are found only in particular areas which are often under the influence of bad weather. Fishermen have to perform arduous and dangerous tasks to get the desired type of fish.
In this article we will have a look at the main types of fishing vessels that are being used around the world and what are their specifications?
Types of Fishing Vessels - Trawlers
These vessels are not of deep sea going type. They have fishing nets suspended from poles which drag the nets through the water. If its a pelagic kind of fishing, the net is suspended between water surface and the seabed. The nets are made of nylon material which doesn't allow them to stay rigid when pulled by the ship. For this reason, heavy chain is fixed at the bottom of the nets so that they can drag the bottom on the seabed, collecting as many fish as possible.
If heavy weights are affixed at the bottom of the nets, the vessels require extra power to pull them. The nets when not in use can be rolled around a drum which is moved with the help of winches. The construction and the equipments used by the trawlers depends solely on the methods and types of fish that are being targeted. The two main types of trawlers are - Cutter and Stern.
The engine power and cooling facilities depends on the number of ship holds on the ship. All these ships have either refrigeration system or cold crushed ice storage facility. Automation is provided to ensure that refrigerated holds maintain optimum temperature for the stored fishes. Some of these vessels have fish processing facilities on the ship itself, thus when the fish reach the port they are directly send to the market.
Non trawling vessels ranges from a simple craft to vessels that can lay nets that are kilometers long. These nets have to wait for the fishes to swim into the net. The main types are as follows:
Seiners - These types of vessels are highly effective for pelagic species that are found near the surface.They use seine nets and specialised equipments to trap the fish shoal by closing the net from below. A seiner can also be provided with a bow thruster which helps the vessel to make circles around the shoal.
Longliners - These vessels have a series of long fishing lines which are fixed with hundred or thousands of baited hooks hanging with the help of branch lines called snoods. The number of lines depends on the size of the ship, number of crew members and the kind of mechanization and automation available on ship.
Tuna clippers - An automated system accommodates special platforms with poles and lines that have hooks with live baits. Tuna when caught is swung into tanks with the help of automatic swinging mechanism . If the tuna is big, it is manually unhooked with the help of fishermen.
Ship Knowledge - A Modern Encyclopedia by K Van Dokkum
Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea