The gillnet boats that fish daily from Viking Village are renowned for producing the finest commercially caught fish on the East Coast. These boats fish principally in spring, summer and fall when various coastal fish species are locally available. Although our gill-netters land over three dozen species over the course of a year, the major portion of our catch consists of monkfish, skate, smooth dogfish and spiny dogfish.
Gillnets commonly run several hundred feet in length. Their depth may be from ten to forty feet or so. They are “set” to intercept fish during their normal migrations, either along the shore or as they move in and out. Depending on the species sought, gillnets can be fished on the bottom, at the surface or anywhere in the water column.
The typical fishing method is called “stabnetting”, a highly selective process in which the nets are in the water for very short periods of time ensuring an environmentally friendly method of harvesting these fish for food.