Fishing fleet
A fishing fleet is an aggregate of commercial fishing
Fishing is the activity of trying to catch wild fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping....

Since the end of the age of sail a ship has been any large buoyant marine vessel. Ships are generally distinguished from boats based on size and cargo or passenger capacity. Ships are used on lakes, seas, and rivers for a variety of activities, such as the transport of people or goods, fishing,...

. The term may be used of all vessels operating out of a particular port, all vessels engaged in a particular type of fishing (as in the "tuna fishing fleet"), or all fishing vessels of a country or region.

Although fishing vessels are not formally organized as if they were a naval fleet
Naval fleet
A fleet, or naval fleet, is a large formation of warships, and the largest formation in any navy. A fleet at sea is the direct equivalent of an army on land....

, very often the constraints of time and weather are such that they must all leave or return together, thus creating at least the appearance of an organized body (some countries, such as the former Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, did however organise their fishing fleets partially along naval lines and used the ships to also gather naval intelligence)
Spy ship
A spy ship or reconnaissance vessel is a dedicated ship intended to gather intelligence, usually by means of sophisticated electronic eavesdropping. In a wider sense, any ship intended to gather information could be considered a spy ship....


Fishermen operating a particular type of vessel or in a particular port often belong to a local association which disseminates information and may be used to coordinate activities, such as how best to prevent overfishing
Overfishing occurs when fishing activities reduce fish stocks below an acceptable level. This can occur in any body of water from a pond to the oceans....

 in particular areas.

World fishing fleet

In 2002 the world fishing fleet numbered about four million vessels. About one-third were decked. The remaining undecked boats were generally less than 10 metres long, and 65 percent were not fitted with mechanical propulsion systems. The FAO
Fão is a town in Esposende Municipality in Portugal....

 estimates that Asia accounts for over 80 percent of them.

The average size of decked vessels is about 20 gross tons (10-15 metres). Only one percent of the world fishing fleet is larger than 100 gross tons (longer than 24 metres). China has half (25,600) of these larger vessels.

There is no international instrument in force concerning the safety of fishing vessels. International conventions and agreements awaiting ratification which concern safety at sea are almost exclusively aimed at vessels 24 metres in length and over, and therefore do not apply to artisan vessels in developing countries. Safety regulations for all fishing vessels are left almost entirely to national discretion.

Other uses

The fishing fleet was an ironical reference to the shiping of unmarried young women from the UK to India during the middle and latter years of the Raj
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

, for the purposes of becoming married to colonial administrators, officers and plantation spervisors. ,,,
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