In this study, we examine various sources, including those referencing the Ancient world, that reveal the origin and evolution of a specific fishing gear known as the gangamo (ganguy), used in the Mediterranean Sea. This gear was selected since its peculiar features allow describing its evolution and uses through a very long period, contrary to other gears. Evidences of its use dates back classic authors (Oppiano) and continues till the 19th century. The gear was adopted along several areas of the Mediterranean coasts. The use of ganguy was criticized by fishermen adopting traditional gears due to concerns on its impact on exploited species and the marine environment. Accordingly, since the 14th century, its use was banned or restricted in many areas. Almost in the same period, the use of other fishing gears, in particular different typologies of oyster dredges and trawls, was banned in the Mediterranean Sea, but also in the North and Baltic Sea. Traditional coastal fishermen defended preservation of the fish fauna, respecting their biological cycles and the marine environment in general. Conflicts between the two drew government attention to protecting territorial waters from the effects of this new fishing gear on the seabed. Periodic issues of prohibitive or restrictive regulations on fishermen’s practices ensued. Analysis of the effects of these regulations on fisheries, which started in the 14th century, highlights government interest in this subject.