Talk:Seine fishing

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in the sub heading Danish Seines the last sentnce of the 4th paragraph contains the word 'usefulin'. This should be changed to 'useful in' Quote - 'It is especially usefulin northern regions, but not much in tropical and sub-tropical regions.' —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:02, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Other kinds of seine?[edit]

I found this article after reading a mention of a "mullet seine" in a Carl Hiaasen novel but only the "purse seine" is covered here. Are there other kinds? --Arnoldlover 16:56, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

If you learn about other kinds of seine, please make an entry in this article. I don't know anything about them, except that my father visited Peru and spent a few days on a sardine fishing boat, which works with sardine seines. I am not qualified to write about them, however. Wadsworth 20:44, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Image needed[edit]

I think it would be most helpful to have a photo or drawing of a seine so a new reader can better visualize what is discussed. --Arnoldlover 16:56, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Where did all this text come from?[edit]

It seems slightly dubious that the majority of this article showed up rather suddenly from an anonymous user. I can't find a source but it resembles a copyvio to me. Also, it's not really entirely applicable to the subject. I don't want to start deleting stuff, but sometimes that would seem like the best solution. I'm not sure what to do in this situation. -- Krash 15:24, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

The text came from me. I'm a third generation commerical fisherman, and grew up on the fishing boats. I though I'd contribute my knowledge to this wonderful repository. Unfortunately, when I entered the text and made my initial corrections, I had neglected to log in. So it shows as anonymous. Is there a way to claim responsibility for this text after the fact? -- User:Wadsworth 6 October 2005
You just did. But in terms of edit history, I don't think there's any way to change that now.
It's good text. I'm not questioning its validity/authenticity/etc. It might be considered borderline NPOV dispute ("Now comes the funnest part, all fishermen agree: brailing"), but that's not really what I'm concerned about here. I'm having a difficult time applying what Wikipedia is not, particularly Wikipedia is not an instruction manual to the article. This article should be about a fishing net. Not how to use such a fishing net. Just seems like too much information – too much information that's not directly related to the subject. This is an encyclopedia. Perhaps this would be better at home at Wikibooks. -- Krash 15:20, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
I'm glad you like my article. I wrote this before I read about NPOV, so you are certainly correct, the funnest part comment should go. I'll fix it. I disagree that describing the usage of an object is beyond the scope of an encyclopedia. Even the entry for can opener has information on how it is used. A purse seine is much more complicated, and I think there is value in preserving the information. Besides, am I wrong saying that it is much more interesting than a can opener? Also, there are no images in this article, and all the text I wrote taxes up a fraction of 1% of the disk spaced used by one of the two images of can openers in their article. This is far from an instruction manual. But it is enough information that if a person watched a video of a set, and followed along with this article, she would have a fair chance of identifying what was going on and why. -- Wadsworth 9 October 2005
I'm having a hard time with your comparison to can opener. I find very few--if any--similarities between the instructional portions of each article. One sums it up in about a sentence. The other goes on for some umpteen paragraphs. You're neither right nor wrong; that you find a purse seine more interesting than a can opener is your opinion. I'm not concerned with Wikimedia's disk space, I'm sure they have plenty of it. But I am concerned that this is unencyclopedic. That doesn't mean I don't think it's true or verifiable or accurate. I just don't think it belongs. I'm listing this page at Wikipedia:Third opinion just to see what someone else might have to say on the subject. -- Krash 01:59, 14 October 2005 (UTC)
According to the dictionary, "Encyclopedia: a work that contains information on all branches of knowledge or treats comprehensively a particular branch of knowledge usually in articles arranged alphabetically often by subject." This article provides information on the subject of purse seining. I'm really not sure what the problem is.

I don't think that the article is actually like an instruction manual. I see it more as a description of the process used in this type of fishing, which is totally appropriate. There is a distinction between giving advice and describing a process. I'm a patent lawyer, so I do both regularly. To the extent that the article reads like an instruction manual, that can be changed, but I don't think that's really what this article is about. COGDEN 17:27, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

I think the description of the process goes into excessive detail, especially regarding aspects of the fishing that aren't directly related to the actual net and its use. The Literate Engineer 19:52, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

I think Wadsworth did a very good job explaining the process of making a set, and Alaska seining in general. As a Kodiak seiner, I very much appreciate his eye for detail and cogent, lucid explanation of the process. The fact that he also explains some of the emotions involved in the process makes me smile at the accuracy and the in-depth, firsthand knowledge he uses to inform the reader. I am quite happy with the article, as this information isn't widely available elsewhere. I would only add that sac-roe herring seining is, for the purposes of this article, practically identical with the exception that much more care and a few other techniques are used to keep the net from sinking. With the typically larger amounts of fish and heavier sets, and the herring's propensity for dying and sinking as well as "conking" or pushing the net down, it's easy to understand how a large set of herring can and has sunk boats and killed crew. Generally, buoyant bouys are tied to the corkline after pursing to prevent the net and fish from sinking everything. Herring seining is usually a highly competitive, pressure packed situation for the fisherman as the season is sometimes only open in a given place (like Togiak) for 20 minutes at a time! "Bait" herring, typically herring caught before they are ready to spawn, for bait and food, is a different matter. It's generally done at night and, as even a small light will frighten the fish to dive below net level, usually the only light available to guide the fishermen is bioluminescence from disturbed plankton in the wake of the skiff and seine. It's a very exciting, although nerve wracking, process for the fishermen! As seining bait herring is only legal under very specific times and places in Alaska, I don't think this explanation is very important for this article.

I'm debating putting in some information on the management and measures used by managers to regulate harvests and ensure sustainability of Alaskan and Canadian salmon and herring fisheries. Is this beyond the scope of the article? Allpoints 11:55, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Negative Aspects of Seine fishing?[edit]

It would be nice to see a section of this article regarding unintended consequences of seine fishing such as by-catch and effects on dolphin populations.Rigbyl7 00:22, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

According to data illustrated at the negative consequences are so devastating, that the fishing industry actually makes *more money* after seine nets are banned (basically since the fish populations begin rising). Cesiumfrog (talk) 01:03, 13 May 2010 (UTC)


I would like to second the notion to include harmful consequences of this practise in the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:08, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Alaska Salmon Seining Is Sustainable And Ecologically Responsible[edit]

There are very few known "Unintended consequences" in the Alaskan seine fisheries. The effect on the Dall's porpoise, Pacific whitesided dolphin, orca, and the whale species, including the salmon dependent beluga, is small and indirect, with more positives from the sustainable management of the wild salmon resource known than negatives.

I would be quite interested in adding the extremely low bycatch numbers in the Alaska salmon and herring fisheries, but feel the addition of such fisheries-specific information would only serve to further limit the focus of this article. There are a lot of other purse seine fisheries in the world.

The mean annual fisheries related mortality of Dall's porpoise in the United States averages 1.89 animals (95% boat strikes) (Buckland, 1993)

"Until 2003, there were six different federally-regulated commercial fisheries in Alaska that could have interacted with Pacific white-sided dolphins. These fisheries were monitored for incidental mortality by fishery observers. As of 2003, changes in fishery definitions in the List of Fisheries have resulted in separating these six fisheries into 22 fisheries (69 FR 70094, 2 December 2004). This change does not represent a change in fishing effort, but provides managers with better information on the component of each fishery that is responsible for the incidental serious injury or mortality of marine mammal stocks in Alaska. There were no serious injuries or mortalities incidental to observed commercial fisheries between 2000 and 2004"(Perez 2006).

"The estimated annual level of human-caused mortality and serious injury [to killer whales] (0.4 animals per year) is less than the PBR (3.1)." (Perez 2006)


However, I can offer anecdotal information on the bycatch incidental to Alaska salmon and herring purse seining that can be easily validated by law and current science, as well as observation.

Cetaceans and pinnipeds are illegal to disturb in Alaska by any commercial fishing activities. (I've never even heard of one being caught in a salmon seine. Anecdotal, but nonetheless...) A porpoise or whale in a salmon seine set would be a direct violation of several laws, and not something someone could easily get away with, or even do if they illegally chose to.. Healthy Cetaceans are far too intelligent and acutely aware of their environment to become trapped in the set, and the actual mesh (1" diagonal measurement, smooth, soft, thick cordage) is designed Not to ensnare anything, including salmon or other fish. Pinnipeds also are generally much too intelligent to be trapped by chance. They enter and leave a set at will over the corkline, benefiting from the massing and captivity of the salmon and herring. Salmon seining is a process where the fisher can see what's in the net before she closes the set enough to endanger any non targeted species inside.

In addition, Alaskan salmon seiners typically work the very top of a deep water column. A quick reference to Alaska Statute shows salmon purse seiners in Alaska are usually limited to 325 mesh squares plus a small amount of chafing gear - roughly 30' or so between the cork and lead line on a working seine. Alaskan seiners do not want their nets to touch the bottom, nor is their gear designed for this, as a chafe usually results in a foul in the rocky waters where wild salmon are typically seined. The whole process of pursing must also be done slowly enough to "sneak up" on the fish, yet quickly enough that they don't figure out that they can dive to escape the set. The process of salmon seining is much more a "herding" exercise, that depends on the species specific response of the salmon targeted, than can probably be garnered from casual observation. The water's deep and clear.

On a personal note, I would leave the Alaska salmon purse seine fishery if I knew (or even felt) it was endangering or ecologically problematic to ANY animal or plant species. I also feel quite confident that a number of my seining colleges would agree with me in principle, if not in word and deed. Alaskan wild salmon and herring purse seining are sustainable, clean fisheries. Aleut 06:51, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

I've participated in thousands of sets, in both Alaska salmon and herring fisheries. In all that time, we've *never* caught a mammal of any kind. I remember hearing once of someone who caught a dolphin in their net, that had drowned when it got tangled up. That's one death in one story, and I've heard *many* fishing stories over the decades.
Herring fishing doesn't get much bycatch at all. Salmon seining sometimes does get quite a bit of bycatch, depending on the circumstances. The fishermen avoid it when possible, as it slows the process down a lot. By far the most common animals accidentally caught are jellyfish (nobody cares, truly) and flounder (if we're in really shallow sandy bays). We also sometimes get a few sole, bullhead (I don't know the real name; it's these things:, halibut, cod, trout, ray, starfish, urchins, and a few others. Often the crew will eat the bycatch for dinner that night, if it's something tasty. For example, we love it when we accidentally scare up a halibut. Once we got into a bunch of dogfish (sharks), which was really unusual. Sometimes a swimming bird will get unlucky; oh my gosh, that's really a huge mess when that happens. I've seen seals and otters hanging around a set once or twice, but they just go over the corkline whenever they feel like it.
I'm pretty sure most fishermen participate because they love to be out on the ocean with all the cool marine wildlife; we're generally not the types of people that wantonly kill higher-order animals. Once you've interacted with a herring for even just a little while, you come to realize that while they are alive, and their life is important, they're not really... well... I guess what I'm trying to say is that I don't feel bad digging up a carrot to put in my salad, either. :) Wadsworth (talk) 05:26, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Danish seines[edit]

As far as I'm aware it does not "hangs vertically" Moggiethemeow (talk) 21:33, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

I agree. In fact, a Danish seine isn't really a seine at all! I'm going to make a proposal about this. Xurtio (talk) 11:09, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Remove Danish seines[edit]

I vote that danish seines be removed, since they're not really seines. They're more like drag gear than seining gear. Xurtio (talk) 11:11, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

please see the trawling wiki article. I believe Danish seines should go there. Compare the net shape and fishing technique, virtually identical Xurtio (talk) 20:25, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

I agree with you Xurtio, that Danish seining seems closer to trawling than purse seining, and I have wondered about that myself. However, traditionally it has been referred to as "seining". More particularly, the FAO categorises it as "seining". In the absence of other global authoritative sources, the FAO is usually taken as the definitive reference source in articles on fishing. So I'm inclined to think Danish seining should stay where it is. But perhaps there could be, in the article, some mention of its similarity to trawling, and perhaps we could find some sources which clarify why it came to called "seining". --Epipelagic (talk) 22:27, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
Speculation: it's the result of an old translation error from Danish to English that stuck through to the 21st century. Or it can also be a matter of confused laymen.
Reference: You can also see here: that real seining is used to catch pelagics (salmon, hering, etc), while danish seining, like bottom trawling, is for bottom fish.
Agree: need to find a good source. My main experience is in Salmon Seining. Don't let me near the bottom trawling pages because I'm bias as hell about that: we call them Ocean Rapers. Xurtio (talk) 22:47, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

How many crew for drum and power-block seining?[edit]

There was a little comparison tidbit in there that claimed that power-block seining required seven crew at the minimum, and the drum seining reduced that number by two. The author of that paragraph no-doubt is thinking of the giant sardine fishery in Chile, or something like that. In Alaska salmon and herring seining, for example, four or five is normal. Anyway, I took that number out, as I don't really know the roles of crewmembers in drum operations. I added a paragraph with these roles for the power block operations. Can someone put in a similar role-definition paragraph for the drum section? Wadsworth (talk) 04:52, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

the gear is all the same whether you're doing drum sets or purse sets, and it's generally always four people: The skipper runs the hides and drives the boat, the skiffman tows the other end of the net, the corkman stacks the corks and the leadman stacks the leads. Sometimes younger family mambers will serve as a fifth and stack the "web" between the corks and the leads. I've three-manned it before, but it's a pain in the ass Xurtio (talk) 11:07, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

By the way, you can do drum sets with a power block.... Xurtio (talk) 20:26, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

line not rope[edit]

My skipper always threatened to throw me overboard for calling line "rope". There is no "rope" on a boat. Everything is a line. The purse isn't rings with a "rope" through it. It's a ring with the purse line going through it. The seiner net has a whole anatomy: the breast line, the cork line, the lead line, the tow line, the purse line, etc. I will expand this article from my personal experience, eventually. Xurtio (talk) 11:04, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

That will be great. However, remember also that the article is presenting a global view of seining, and not just how it is practised and spoken about in, say, Alaska. The FAO refers to "rope" sometimes in the context of seining. Although "line" is most often used, googling seining+rope still gets 245,000 hits. The problem with personal experiences is that, unless they can be backed with reliable sources, they have little value on Wikipedia. --Epipelagic (talk) 23:32, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
Good points. This is why I'm not jumping in an editing. I would consider myself an expert at Alaskan Commercial Salmon Seining as that's the lifestyle I was raised into before diverging to academics. I have some experience in hering (seine), king crab (potts), and cod (longline). I don't think we should depend on Google hits though. Anyway, "rope" or "line" in terms of Wikipedia policy isn't going to make a difference. It might be better if I did a particular section within the article pertaining more specifically to Alaska. Xurtio (talk) 23:48, 10 August 2010 (UTC)


The folklore I had heard about line vs. rope is that originally, rope was called the stock of line. Once you take a section of rope from the role and cut it and utilize it in your gear, it's now a line (because it has a specific purpose). It's not specific to Alaska or even commercial fishing: (notice this is not about alaska seining) (definitions: notice that the official names have 'line' in them)

I think this is consistent with the folklore history I heard, but as always, needs confirmation from reliable sources.

Xurtio (talk) 23:48, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Well that's good. The article needs expansion and proper sourcing. Perhaps we can do this together. I'm pushed for time at the moment, but I'll see what I can do. --Epipelagic (talk) 00:15, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
sounds good, the fall semester will be starting up soon here so my activity will probably drop significantly at that time, but we'll make constructive progress eventually Xurtio (talk) 00:21, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
Given your interest in neuroscience, you might also be interested in contributing to pain in fish. --Epipelagic (talk) 01:25, 11 August 2010 (UTC)