Gillnets are the dominant gear used by fishers in the Indian Ocean, mainly in artisanal and semi-industrial fisheries. Between 2006 and 2010, gillnets contributed between 30 to 40 percent of catches according to the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission database.
While efforts to analyze data on Indian Ocean fisheries targeting tuna have proved difficult, a recent study on the contribution of gillnet fisheries found that bycatch from gillnet fishing is high across all species groups. Shark populations were especially vulnerable, with gillnets accounting for 64 percent of shark catches recorded by the IOTC. Research also indicates that turtles face a high risk of mortality because of gillnets operating in the Indian Ocean.
There is not enough reliable data to estimate the fuel use intensity of gillnet fishing.