Picture of Catfish
Commercial fishing is a worldwide enterprise that involves the capture of ocean and freshwater fish, shellfish, and marine mammals, and their processing for market. There are several major companies that do this. The names of some of these companies are: Atlantic Ocean Fisheries, Pacific Ocean Fisheries, and the Inland Fisheries. Fishing equipment ranges from small boats whose nets are cast and hauled in by hand to factory ships equipped with the most advanced technologies for finding, harvesting, and processing huge quantities of fish. These large catches are made at heavy expense, not only in the cost of the equipment and fuel, but also in the potential depletion of fishery resources. There is on the job training required for the operation of the machinery. The major portion of the total fish harvest consists of relatively few ocean species, which are divided into two groups. Pelagic species, those which inhabit the near-surface layers of the oceans, include several species of herring, tuna, salmon, anchovies, pilchard, sardines, menhaden, and mackerel. Demersal species, fish that inhabit the areas near the ocean bottom include, cod, sole, halibut, haddock, hake, and flounder. Large catches are also made of a group of fish classed commercially as shellfish-shrimp, lobster, scallops, oysters, clams, crabs, mussels, and squid. Almost all large Pelagic and Demersal fish catches are made over the continental shelf, the underwater plateau surrounding the continents and large islands. In these waters temperatures, water depths, and the currents that influence the quantities of available food create an environment that is highly favorable to the existence of large schools of fish.

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