Fishing with beach seines

FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper No. 562

Fishing with beach seines

Edited by

Uwe Tietze
FAO Consultant
Olympia, Washington, United States of America

Robert Lee
Fishery Industry Officer
FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department
Rome, Italy

Thomas Moth-Poulsen
Fishery Officer
FAO Subregional Office for Central and Eastern Europe


Hans E. Båge
FAO Consultant
FAO Subregional Office for Eastern Africa

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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Rome 2011


Tietze, U.; Lee, R.; Siar, S.; Moth-Poulsen, T.; Båge, H.E., eds.
Fishing with beach seines.
FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper. No. 562, Rome. FAO. 2011. 149p.

This document provides a global overview of beach seine fisheries and identifies key issues relevant for the responsible use of beach seines and the sustainable livelihoods of beach seine fishers. It also gives guidelines for fisheries managers and other stakeholders on how best to address the issues of management processes and measures, which have the mutually beneficial goals of restoring and conserving the health of fishery resources and their habitats and safeguarding the livelihoods of fishers and their communities. The document draws on the findings of case studies coordinated and funded by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Fisheries and Aquaculture Department in the Gambia, India, Kenya, Mozambique, Peru and Sri Lanka, and by the FAO/United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) Sustainable Fisheries Livelihoods Programme (SFLP) in Benin, Ghana and Togo. In addition to the findings of the case studies, other studies and publications on beach seines were reviewed and used for the preparation of this document.


Preparation of this document
Abbreviations, acronyms and conversions

1. Introduction and background

2. Methodology


Coverage and focus


Field survey methodologies



Benin, Ghana and Togo



The Gambia











3. Comparative analysis of findings


Overall importance, technological and operational features of beach seine fisheries


Literature reviews


Impact of beach seines on aquatic resources and habitats


Social and demographic characteristics and access to social services and infrastructure


Financial and economic performance of beach seines


Regulations, management measures and participatory approaches

4. Recommendations








The Gambia










Sri Lanka

5. Conclusions and guidelines


Discussion and conclusions


Guidelines for the responsible management of beach seine fisheries and the conservation of fishery resources and habitats


Annex 1 – Summary of findings of country case studies

Annex 2 – Designs of beach seines from the case study countries

Annex 3 – Financial and economic study of beach seining in Sri Lanka

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) concerning the legal or development status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The mention of specific companies or products of manufacturers, whether or not these have been patented, does not imply that these have been endorsed or recommended by FAO in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned.

The views expressed in this information product are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of FAO.

ISBN 978-92-5-106806-9

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