Drifter (fishing boat)
A drifter is a type of fishing boat. They were designed to catch herrings in a long drift net. Herring fishing using drifters has a long history in many British fishing ports, and particularly in East Scottish ports.
Until the mid 1960s fishing fleets in the North Sea comprised drifters and trawlers, with the drifters primarily targeting herring while the trawlers caught cod, plaice, skate and haddock, etc. By the mid 1960s the catches were greatly diminishing, particularly the herring. Consequently the drifter fleet disappeared and many of the trawlers were adapted to work as service ships for the newly created North Sea oil rigs.
Some history of drifters is covered in Scottish east coast fishery.
Drifters preserved as museum ships include Lydia Eva, a steam drifter of the herring fishing fleet based in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, and Reaper, a restored Scottish Fifie herring drifter at the Scottish Fisheries Museum.
Dutch Herring Buss drifter taking aboard its drift net, c. 1600
- Herring Buss (Dutch precursor to the drifter)
- Fifie (widely used early drifter in Scotland)
- Manx nobby
- History of fishing in the United Kingdom
- Naval drifter