Trawling is a method of fishing that involves pulling a fishing net through the water behind one or more boats. The net used for trawling is called a trawl.
Trawling can be divided into bottom trawling and midwater trawling, depending on how high the trawl (net) is in the water column.
Trawling is one of the most common methods of commercial fishing. Trawl nets are designed to be towed by a boat through the water column (midwater trawl) or along the sea floor (bottom trawl).
Trawl nets are shaped like a cone or funnel with a wide opening to catch fish or crustaceans and a narrow, closed ‘cod-end’. Trawls can be used at various depths and nets differ by their mesh size.
This principle requires netting bags which are towed through water to catch different species of fishes or sometimes targeted species. Trawls are often called towed gear or dragged gear. The boats that are used for trawling are called trawlers or trawlboats.