Modern fishing vessels range from one-person wooden rowboats equipped with hand or casting nets to large, steel-hulled ships that range far from their home ports and track their prey using the latest modern technology. Three main types of fishing ships over 40 m (130 ft) in length currently ply the world's oceans: trawlers, seiners, and long liners.
According to the FAO, in 2004 the world's fishing fleet consisted of 4 million vessels. Of these, 1.3 million were decked vessels with enclosed areas. The rest were open vessels, of which two-thirds were traditional craft propelled by sails and oars. By contrast, nearly all decked vessels were mechanized. Of the decked vessels, 86 percent are found in Asia, 7.8 percent in Europe, 3.8 percent in North and Central America, 1.3 percent in Africa, 0.6 percent in South America and 0.4 percent in Oceania. Most commercial fishing boats are small, usually less than 30 metres (98 ft) but up to 100 metres (330 ft) for a large purse seiner or factory ship.