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Source: FAO-Fish.Tech.Pap.222, p. 45

ISSCFG code: 08.2 – standard abbreviation: FPO
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OverviewA pot is designed in the form of cages or baskets, small or large (with dimensions ranging from around half a meter to two), made from various materials (wood, wicker, metal rods, wire netting, plastic etc.). They might have one or more openings or entrances. Most of the pots are set on the bottom, while a few models are designed to be in mid-water. Pots are used with or without bait, depending on the target species. The bait is composed usually by pieces of fish, but also common is the use of artificial flavourished baits. Pots are frequently set in rows.Handling EquipmentPots are hauled either by hand (if the depth is not too large and if there are only a few pots to be retrieved) or with a pot hauler or line coilers (for deep water fishing or hauling a series of pots).Vessel OverviewA small open boat may set one to three large pots inshore; larger decked artisanal unit, 15-20 m long may set one hundred or more pots up to the hedge of the continental shelf; an industrial potter, up to almost 50 m long, will sets hundreds of pot far offshore, i.e. for king crab fishing in the North Pacific. Fish OperationPots are usually set on the bottom, mostly with bait, single or in rows/strings connected to a line (longline system). The fish, cephalopodes and/or crustaceans may enter either for sheltering or attracted by a bait, but are hampered from coming out. The soaking time may last from one or two hours to almost a full day, sometime more but the most common is that fishers haul their pots every day. In order to accommodate more pots on the limited space available on the deck of a vessel, certain models of pots are either collapsible or designed in such a way that they can be piled one upon each other.Target SpeciesPots are used to catch crustaceans (lobster, crabs, shrimps), shellfish, octopus, and all kinds of reef fish.Water Area OverviewAll over the world.Gear EnvironmentPots are generally operated in a very wide range of depths, either in inland, in estuarine and in marine waters. While some pots are set on smooth, muddy or sandy bottom for catching shrimp or fish, most of them work best when set close to rocks, reefs, coral or wrecks. Certain models of pot are set in mid-water for pelagic fish.ImpactsEnvironmental The size of the mesh (diamond plastic or square wire) or the distance between the slats are making, to a certain extent, a selection letting the smallest individual to escape; in addition, in more and more fisheries, a regulation imposes that an "escape panel" is included on one side of the pot. When a pot is lost, it may continue to fish for some time; this is known as "Ghost fishing"; it will be limited if, at least a part of the pot is made from biodegradable material.
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