What Is Deep Sea Fishing?
Fishing is an ancient practice of catching fish that dates back at least 40,000 years. The phrase ‘deep sea fishing’ actually refers to two types of activities. The first is sport fishing where people on vacation rent a boat and spend a leisurely day hunting big fish such as marlin or sailfish.
The second type of deep sea fishing refers to the commercial fishing industry where the fishermen look for large hauls of fish at the bottom of the ocean. Deep sea fishing aims at giving fishermen and fishing buffs access to the deeper parts of the ocean and the fish species that only live in the open ocean. Deep sea fishing is practiced worldwide, especially in the coastal areas.
Deep Sea Fishing as Sport
- Deep sea fishing that is done for sport is also known as ‘big game fishing’ or ‘sport fishing.’ Big game fishing is an enjoyable experience for people who like fishing and are fond of water. This sport requires special fishing; just the regular hook, line and sinker won’t do.
- The charter boats have all the necessary equipment and fishing gear installed in them, however, some old hands bring their own gear. In this sport, the enthusiasts try to angle the large open ocean fish species like tuna, sharks and swordfish.
- Various techniques are used to catch the fish. Some people use nets, while others prefer to catch fish by throwing in bait in the conventional manner, and to hook them individually with highly sophisticated and strong lines.
- Sometimes a really interesting and thrilling fight with a big fish ensues which leads to an adventure of a lifetime. Gamers and the accompanying fishermen have to be extremely swift and alert at all times. They have to be steady on their feet because big game fish can escape in the early stages of the process and some nasty ones can even take the gamers down with them or overturn the boat.
- Once the fish are caught and the hunting spree is over, there are a number of options for disposal of the fish. Some people take the fish home to eat, after posing with it for the camera first. Some noble souls release the fish back into the water after having their share of fun with it—this is the way it should be!
- Deep sea fishing also attracts scientists and researchers who closely work with the deep sea fishermen on fishery monitoring projects. They catch the fish, tag it, log it and then release it back. This way they get a deeper insight into the living habits of the fish.
Commercial Deep Sea Fishing
- In commercial deep sea fishing, big boats and ships trawl the bottom of the ocean floor for seafood. These boats and ships are equipped with heavy trawling equipment and large nets that drag fishing gear across the ocean floor as deep as two kilometres. In India, the targets of such deep sea fishing include mackerel, carangid, pomfret and many more.
Threats to Deep Sea Fishing
- No matter how exciting or lucrative deep sea fishing may seem, the practice is certainly not environmental friendly and has proven to be harmful for the aquatic flora and fauna. In commercial deep sea fishing, while trawling when the heavy fishing gear gets dragged across the sea floor, it destroys the deep sea coral reefs in the process. Coral gardens and the exquisite aquatic life forms that reside in it are lost. Trawling also damages the oceanic sponges.
- These sponges can be immensely helpful to medical science in the development of new cures for a vast array of ailments. In the deep sea fishing sport, thousands of fish lose their lives. Furthermore, deep sea fishing leads to the overfishing of species, because of which many species of fish will be at the brink of extinction soon.
- Sport fishing is also now being regulated by law to protect the big game species as they take a long time to mature. Usually people can only take a certain number of fish per trip and they have to declare their catch to the concerned authorities.
- More stringent restrictions and regulations are expected to be implemented soon in order to control fish populations and at the same time, ensure that the game enthusiasts can have fun deep sea fishing in the future.
Did you know?
You do not have to go abroad to enjoy deep sea fishing. Deep sea fishing as a sport is gradually gaining popularity in India too. If you are wondering where to go for it, Goa is the place! You can obtain special permits from the government and have your tryst with the deep sea and the fish that live in it.
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