Fishing methods and gear types

A range of gears and methods are used in commercial fishing. Every type of gear has some effect on the ocean environment. However, if carefully managed, virtually all gear types can be used responsibly and sustainably.

The common gear types below are some of those used by fisheries engaged in the MSC program.

Except for fisheries using explosives and poisons, any fishery catching fish in the wild can be assessed to the MSC Fisheries Standard. The impacts of a fishery on habitats and fish populations are considered by an independent assessment team.

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Underwater detailed shot of fish schooling

What is sustainable fishing?

Sustainable fishing means leaving enough fish in the ocean, respecting habitats and ensuring people who depend on fishing can maintain their livelihoods.

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A flock of seagulls flying over the ocean and in front of a fishing vessel (far right)

Our collective impact

For 20 over years fisheries, scientists, consumers and industry have been part of a collective effort to make sure our oceans are fished sustainably.

Read about impacts
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