Reduce Net Size


Reducing the size of nets in different fisheries may reduce the likelihood of wildlife-gear interactions.  

Seabirds can be caught and killed during fishing operations if there is an excessive amount of floating net that forms a mesh ceiling on top of the water, in which foraging seabirds can become entangled and drown. The idea is therefore to ‘slim down’ nets to reduce the excess, without impacting target catch rates.


In 2014, a collaborative initiative between fishermen and net manufacturers sought to modify net size in the Chilean anchovy and sardine purse seine fishery to reduce seabird bycatch. Nets were reduced by roughly 800kg. Experimental trials were undertaken, and modified nets tested and compared with simultaneous sets with normal nets. Modified nets resulted in zero seabird mortality versus 0.55 birds/ set in unmodified nets.

This page was last updated on 12.02.21.

Interested in how this and other measures could mitigate bycatch in your fishery? Get in touch with us to collaborate or take part in a study.

We use third-party cookies to personalise content and analyse site traffic.

Learn more