Encircling gear is set in a circular form to enclose a shoal of fish or a large area of water or seabed. Gradually, the circle is closed up until the fish enclosed within it are captured.
All fishing gear is developed to target specific species of fish and shellfish, in particular areas. There are many different varieties of encircling gear, some of which have been described in brief detail below.
- Ring net: A net operated by surrounding a shoal of pelagic fish with a ‘wall’ of netting, often operated by two boats.
- Purse seine: A large net used to surround a shoal of pelagic fish, the bottom of which is then drawn together to enclose them.
- Beach seine: An encircling net shot from a small boat and then drawn ashore by ropes.
- Anchor seine: An encircling net shot in the open sea using very long ropes to lay out the net and ropes on the seabed, prior to hauling from a boat at anchor. This is sometimes called a Danish seine.
- Scottish seine: An encircling net shot in the open sea using very long ropes to lay out the net, and ropes on the seabed prior to towing the net closed and hauling from a boat under its own power. This is sometimes called fly-dragging or fly-shooting.