Trawling is a method of fishing that involves pulling a fishing net through the water behind one or more boats. The net that is used for trawling is called a trawl.
The boats that are used for trawling are called trawlers. Trawlers vary in size; from small open boats with only 30 hp engines to large factory trawlers with over 10,000 hp. Trawling can be carried out by one trawler or by two trawlers fishing cooperatively (pair trawling).
Trawling can be contrasted with trolling, where baited fishing lines instead of trawls are drawn through the water. Trolling is used both for recreational and commercial fishing whereas trawling is used mainly for commercial fishing. Trawling is also commonly used as a scientific sampling, or survey, method.