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STATIC GEAR - Pots and Creels

Potting or creeling uses small cages or baskets to capture crabs, lobsters, crayfish, langoustines and shrimp. Pots differ in shape, size and construction materials, according to the target species and local practices. They are usually baited and set on the seabed singly or in strings attached to buoys, which act as location markers and support for the recovery lines. Vessels need to have a large open deck area to enable them to carry large numbers of pots. Most are fitted with creel haulers which are designed to take the main rope, with pots lifted clear as they pass the winch. Pots are usually raised each day or every other day, to allow the catch to be removed and fresh bait set. 


Photo: David Linkie, Fishing News

Click to view the environmental impacts of this catching method

Potential Impacts (Biological/Environmental) Gear Selectivity Regulation


• Unrestricted gear type leading to high localised fishing effort

• Lost gear can continue to fish for significant time period (ghost fishing)


• Minimal

• Design of 'eye'

• Type of bait

• Type of ground where set

• Size of mesh

• Seasonal and local prohibited areas preventing or restricting use of creels/pots.


Improvement measures and initiatives taken by Scottish Fishermen

• Creel fishermen have started to trial the use of escape panels on the sides of creels as an extra measure to allow quick and easy escape of small specimens.

• The use of hard eye creel entrances can aid eventual escape and help reduce ghost fishing mortalities from lost gear. Use of biodegradable twine in the construction of creels can also eliminate ghost fishing.

• Fleets can be set with weak links or breakaway lines to help minimise the entrapment of marine mammals.

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