Prawn traps consist of conical-shaped wire frame covered with nylon netting. The traps capture prawns live by attracting them through an entrance to the centre of the trap where the bait is located. Once inside, larger prawns are unable to escape while smaller prawns, crabs and fish escape through a hatch.
Fishermen are limited to 300 traps per licence and can set six longlines at a time. The longlines are anchored to the ocean floor with buoys attached to each end floating on the surface. Fishermen haul their traps using a hydraulic winch. In British Columbia, there are 252 commercial fishing licences in the spot prawn trap fishery. Vessels range from 13 to 66 feet (4 to 21 metres).