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The term fishing embraces all aspects of man's pursuit of the aquatic animals in the seas and in inland waters all over the world. Fishing is one of the oldest occupations of mankind. Fish provides 4 per cent of the total food supply. Fishes are a vital source of food, especially in countries like Norway, Iceland and Japan where the land is mountainous. Moreover modern fisheries are not confined to catching fish, but include many other sea harvests such as whales, seals, pearls, molluscs, sponges and seaweeds.

Fish and other marine products are rich in proteins and provide essential minerals like iron, calcium, iodine and vitamins. Besides fish, wastes from canneries are made into fishmeals, glue, oils and fertilizers. Other industries stimulated by fishing, include shipbuilding and repairing, the manufacture of nets and equipment etc.

Fishing methods: Technological developments in fishing industry have been slow, due perhaps to the isolation of many fishing communities, the small size of many fishing fleets and the consequent lack of capital available for improvement. Today, the means of catching fish range from the use of spears and small traps in the Pacific islands and the Arctic to that of large, well equipped fishing vessels that carry radar for detecting the presence of shoals.

Pelagic fish living near the surface of water are caught largely by drift nets. Drift nets, which can be of many different lengths are attached to slow moving ships or floating buoys and kept vertical by means of weights placed along the bottom edge. Herring, mackerel and pilchards are among the fish caught by this method.

Demersal fish live usually at depths of 60m or more, and they were formerly caught by liners, long ropes to which small length of chores and coiled hooks are attached at regular intervals. Where the sea bottom is irregular this system is still used. The vogue now is the modern trawl, a large net of flattened conical shape. This huge bag is dragged slowly along the sea bottom by powered vessels.

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