Worldwide, the gillnet is one of the most important fishing gears for harvesting a variety of species in the sea and in freshwater. Gillnets are efficient, catching a diverse range of species, and are highly size selective. However, gillnets have limited species selectivity and sometimes catch non-target species; birds; and megafauna species including cetaceans, turtles, and sharks. Lost gillnets often continue to fish, a situation called “ghostfishing”, wasting valuable resources. This paper describes basic components of a gillnet and its fishing mechanisms, and reviews catch efficiency, selectivity and related conservation issues.
The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.