Pair Seine Netting traditionally involved a second vessel picking up the dhan and both vessels towing the gear in the manner of a demersal pair trawl before hauling. This procedure substantially increases the area of seabed swept by the gear, and can improve catches when fish concentrations are small and widely dispersed. However on dual purpose vessels, pair seines are now commonly rigged, shot and hauled exactly as pair trawls, with wire towing warps and sweeps in front of a seine net combination rope per side. Vessels maintain station up to 0.5 nautical miles apart while towing.


Click to view the environmental impacts of this catching method

Potential Impacts (Biological/Environmental) Gear Selectivity Regulation


• Removal of and damage to sedentary marine organisms such as seaweed/corals

• Capture and removal of small sized marine organisms and non-target species

• Capture/discarding of undersized target species


• Damage to seabed strata

• Disturbance of bottom sediments

• Disturbance of bottom sediments

• Overall impacts are much less than trawl operations, as there is no use of trawl doors and the gear is not towed for long distances.

• Mesh size

• Square mesh panels

• Control of headline height

• Used to target small localised patches of fishing ground.

• Minimum mesh size

• Minimum fish sizes

• Inclusion of square mesh panels

• Maximum twine thickness

• Net attachments must meet specific regulation conditions to prevent obstruction to net meshes, eg use of bag strengtheners

• Maximum _ of meshes in bag circumference

• % of catch mix retained on board.


Improvement measures and initiatives taken by Scottish Fishermen

• Seine net gear tends to be very much lighter than trawl gear as it is not towed. 

• Lighter gear using modern materials have helped maintain the Scottish seine net as an economical, low seabed impact fishing method.

• Scottish fishermen have been able to use the seine net very selectively for specific demersal species, because it is operated very slowly over the seabed so does not catch faster swimming demersal species such as Saithe, Pollack and Lythe.

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