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Main Components
Aquatic species
Target Species
Target Species
Crangonid shrimp
Target Species
Penaeid shrimp

Gear types: Stow nets
Stow nets
Stow nets
This is a stationary gear made from netting, usually in the form of a cone or pyramid.
Vessel types: small boat or canoe

Shrimp stow netStow nets in the bay of Mont St. Michel (France)
Shrimp stow net
Species EnvironmentAcetes chinensis is a small shrimp with a length of only between 17 mm to 40 mm. It is the most important shrimp species fished by stow nets along Chinese coastal waters, the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea. Nutritious waters at the river mouth and bay areas along Chinese coastal waters are good places for fish and shrimp to spawn, feed and live. In India, Bombay duck (Harpodon nehreus) forms the third largest pelagic fishery resource and is mainly caught by "dol" nets, followed by trawls. Crangonid shrimp are the target species in European temperate waters.Fishing GearOne of the main characteristics of shrimp stow net is its very small mesh size in the codend, which is usually only between 7 mm and 12 mm, especially stow net fishing for Acetes chinensis, with its mesh size in codend normally being less than 10 mm.

Shrimp stow netModel of anchored stow nets to fish shrimp in the lagoons (Senegal)
Shrimp stow net
Vessel OverviewBoat is not necessary to operate stow nets. Various models of shrimp stow nets are set directly from the shoreline, in the inter-tidal zone. Boats operating "dol" net , in north west coast of India, are wooden boats, ranging from 12 m to 16 m in length, powered by marine diesel engines of 40-100 HP.

Dol net boats on the beach, Versova, Mumbai (India)
Dol net boats on the beach, Versova, Mumbai (India)
Handling ModeIn India, non-penaeid prawns (as well as small miscellaneous fishes) are sundried on mats spread on beaches or on raised platforms (while twenty to thirty years ago the drying was directly on the beaches.Fishery Production SystemsStow net fishing is a fishing technique used mainly by small-scale fisheries.Fishing OperationsStow nets are used for shrimp in areas where there are currents (as stow nets for other species), such as, in the sea, the inter-tidal zone on beaches, where the slope of the bottom is very little (making large intertidal areas), for marine species of shrimp or in rivers and their estuaries for brackish water and freshwater species. Nets are set to fish shallow in very turbid conditions. In the open sea, they are very much affected by the weather. A favorable site for marine stow net fishery exists around the south and west coast of Korea. Here the Koreans use anchored gape nets held by boats and kept open by a system of floats and sinkers.The following fishing sequence operation is referred to as the Korean stow net. On arrival at a fishing ground, a big anchor with a main warp connected to the net mouth is dropped into the water. The anchor warp from the boat, the connecting rope between the boat and the sinker beam and anchor buoy line are branched off the main warp. The anchor warp is paid out to about four times the water depth. The boat waits for a suitable chance for casting the net under a single anchoring condition, and the casting of the net is commenced 20 to 30 minutes after the tidal current direction has changed. Stow net fishing operation can be divided into the following main sequences:
Shrimp stow net fishingExample of "Dol" net in operation (India)
Shrimp stow net fishing
1. Casting netThe anchor warp is shifted to amidships from the bow so that the boat's side faces normally against the direction of the tidal current. The codend is thrown into the water and then the net is streamed gradually into the water following the tidal current from the codend to the net mouth. Then, the crew adjusts the various ropes to ensure the proper opening of the net in the water. The float and sinker beams are carefully dropped onto the water surface by slacking the ropes of gun-tackles at the fore and aft of the boat. Then fore and aft tackles are taken off the boat and the whole of the net is set on the seabed. At this stage, the net and boat are connected by the anchor warp of about twice the water depth in length and by the connecting rope from the sinker beam. After casting the net as mentioned above, the anchor warp is reset to the bow and the boat stays against the tidal current direction until the next change of the tidal current direction.
2. Hauling netHauling the net is commenced one hour before the tidal current direction changes, and the net is hauled inversely to the order of its casting procedure. The anchor warp is shifted to amidships to face the side normally against the tidal current direction. The mouth of the net is closed by drawing the rope connected to the center of the sinker beam. The codend is drawn in by means of winch operation on board as the rope connected to the codend is hauled in mechanically.
Fishery AreaStow net fishing operate in China, the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea; in Korea; in Bangladesh; in Malaysia and Indonesia; in the north west coast of India and in the European temperate waters.SeasonalityThe stow net fishing season may change zone by zone according to the target species and its migration patterns. In a number of countries the national fisheries regulations limit the utilization of stow nets for shrimp, as for other species during certain periods of the year (e.g. spawning season or when there are many juveniles.IssuesSelectivity Stow net are usually set in river mouth areas, bay areas and the waters around islands where many important traditional economic fish and shrimp species live and fed. ImpactsSpecies With very poor selectivity caused from the small mesh size of the net, stow net, especially the shrimp stow nets, killed a large quantity of young fish and prawn living in the fishing waters while catching small shrimp and fish. In connection to this, in China, it is commonly accepted that stow net fishing is one of the main contributors to the depletion of many traditional economic species in Chinese inshore waters.
Socio-economic In certain countries the expansion of stow net fishing in certain areas has led to conflicts with other fishing activities: in China, for instance, the rapid development of mobile stow nets on larger fishing grounds in recent years, has resulted in competition for good fishing areas between fishermen using other gears.

In order to reduce the amount of bycatch in the catch of shrimp stow net, much research work has been carried out on how to improve the selectivity of the net. However, they are mainly limited on improving the net structure.Possible solutionsA good alternative to enlarge the mesh size of the net is to open windows at a suitable place of the net or to separate the net by inserting a separation netting panel inside the net so that the young fish and prawns might be able to escape from the window either by diving downwards or by withdrawing from the net mouth.Possible solutionsSet up closing season may be a useful measure to reduce bycatch. Fishing with stow net should be closed in the coastal waters according to the time difference in spawing and feeding of the fish species in the waters concerned.

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