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What are the different types of fisheries in the world?




Fisheries is a unique system by which people cultivate, manage and harvest fish in commercial quantities. It refers to fishing activities taking place in various environments, including the marine, brackish and fresh water environments. Under fishery, we have activities such as fishing, aquaculture, fish processing, marketing and distribution.

Some fisheries may be recreational and others may be commercial activities such as sport or commercial fishing. There is fish processing, there is fish farming, and fish habitat management and conservation.


There are different types of fisheries and some of them will be discussed in the following paragraphs.

Culture fisheries

This is also another type of fishing. Capture fisheries is also called aquaculture. Others also refer to it as fish farming. Here, the fish is farmed. A familiar environment is created for the fish, to feel like its own natural habitat. It could be done on the lake, like the Volta Lake. Others construct ponds to keep the fish. The idea is to mimic the natural environment, where the fish would have thrived to increase the production of fish.

Capture fisheries

We also have other people using capture fishing. Here the fisherman or woman goes to the fish's habitat, in their natural environment to catch the fish. Some of the tools used include lines, nets, traps, etc. The use of traps is common locally in Ghana, Nigeria and elsewhere. Though people catch fish by these methods, and some sell them, many others too, just use it for food.

Commercial fisheries

Another type of fishing is what we refer to as commercial fishing. In this type of fishing, the practice is to harvest fish from the wild to sell on commercial bases and the basic aim is to make profit. It could be fish and or other types of seafood. People do not just start commercial fishing. It is a regulated area, at the level of the government of any particular country. There is a licensing regime that one must follow and ensure one does not break the law. There are several methods used un commercial fishing; one is called trawling, another type is long-lining, others include trolling, and seining.

Subsistence fisheries

Subsistence fishing is the type of fishing, the aim is not necessarily to sell the fish in order to make a profit, though a few may be sold to meet household demands. In this type of fishery, most of the fish they catch is for domestic purpose.  

Artisanal fisheries

Another type of fishing is artisanal fishing. The tools needed for artisanal fishery is rudimentary. They are not as sophisticated as in commercial fishery. In many cases the waters from which they fish are closer to their abode or not too far away. Some of the catch may be used domestically but others are also sold to earn money for the home.

Recreational fisheries

In the case of recreational fishing, the major push is to engage in a sporting activity. Fishing is to while away boredom, to go away for a while, to engage in exercise, to have fun, and many other reasons except to make profit. The fish they catch are mostly for use at home. They fish to keep fit.

Industrial fisheries

Industrial fishing is another type of fishing employed by the world. This is done on very large scales. It involved the use of very state of the art technologies. While some use trawlers, other use long-lines and purse seines. They catch fish in very large quantities. In most cases, this type of fishing is done on the open ocean. They may use very large vessels or may even sometimes use small ones. The target, in many cases are tuna, salmon, and sardines or cod.

The cultural importance of fisheries                                                  

Fisheries forms an important part of the cultural lives of people. It forms the basis of the transfer of traditional skills to younger populations of the communities. In many coastal and island communities, fishing is an integral part of their culture and identity. It is not gainsaying, that fisheries offer employment, puts food on the table, and provides cash for families. Cultural festivals have been instituted around fishing activities in many communities, for example, Argungu fishing festival in North Western Nigeria and Bakatue in the Central Region of Ghana which falls on the first Tuesday in July every year.


One can conclusion that fisheries put food on the table for many people, the world over. The fisher men use various methods to catch fish depending on their needs, that is, if it is for domestic or for commercial purpose. It is important to manage the fish stock in the water bodies so that fishing is done sustainably.

Also read: The importance of fisheries to national economy to the national economy

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