Groupe de travail chargé de coordonner les statistiques des pêches (CWP)

Fishing gear classification

The International Standard Statistical Classification of Fishing Gear (ISSCFG) was originally adopted during the 10th Session of the CWP (Madrid, 22-29 July 1980).

The current ISSCFG (Annex M) was adopted at the 25th CWP Session (FAO 2016) following a revision conducted by the Ad hoc group for developing the draft revision of CWP gear classification in collaboration with the ICES/FAO Working Group on Fishing Technology and Fish Behaviour (WGFTFB) (refer FAO 2010a and FAO 2014). The ISSCFG standard abbreviations are based on the alpha-codes used in the original classification (FAO 1980), and the relationship between the current ISSCFG and the original version (1980) is shown in Annex M. The ISSCFG provides a global structure for the classification of fishing gear and provides for national or regional variations to be included at sub-levels of the classification.

Although this classification was initially designed to improve the compilation of harmonized catch and effort data in the STATLANT B questionnaires and fish stock assessment exercises, it has also been found useful for fisheries technology development and the training of fishers. The ISSCFG has been used in particular for reference in work dealing with the theory and construction of gear and for the preparation of specialized catalogues on both artisanal and industrial fishing methods.


FAO. 2010a. Report of ad-hoc Group on CWP Gear Classification – 2010 (Rome, Italy, 19-21 October 2010). CWP-24/5. Rome, FAO. 12 pp. (also available at

FAO. 2010b. Report of the twenty-third session of the Coordinating Working Party on Fishery Statistics. Hobart, Australia, 22–26 February 2010. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Report. No. 942. Rome, FAO. 87 pp. (also available at

FAO. 2014. Report of the twenty-four session of the Coordinating Working Party on Fishery Statistics. Rome, Italy, 5-8 February 2013. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Report. No. 1077. Rome, FAO. 124 pp. (also available at

FAO. 2016. Report of the twenty-fifth session of the Coordinating Working Party on Fishery Statistics. Rome, Italy, 23–26 February 2016. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Report No. 1172. Rome, FAO. 32 pp. (also available at

Nédélec, C. & Prado, J. 1990. Definition and classification of fishing gear categories. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper No. 222, Rev. 1. Rome, FAO. 92 pp. (also available at

Resources for fishing gear classification

FAO. Fishing gear type (fact sheets). [Cited 1 November 2020].