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Set gillnets
Set gillnets

ISSCFG code: 07.1 – standard abbreviation: GNS
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OverviewA set gillnet consists of a single netting wall kept more or less vertical by a floatline and a weighted groundline. The net is set on the bottom, or at a certain distance above it and kept stationary by anchors or weights on both ends. Gillnets are of special interest for artisanal fisheries because it is a low cost fishery.Accessory EquipmentSmall solid floats, usually made of plastic and either cylindrical or egg-shaped, are attached to the headline and lead weights are evenly distributed along the ground line. The netting is made of multifilament nylon, monofilament or multimonofilament fibres to keep the visibility of the gear low. The size distribution of the catch is very much dependant on the mesh size used in the gillnet.Handling EquipmentOn small boats the gillnets are handled by hand. More common is the gear handling supported by hydraulic driven net haulers. Net drums are also used for gillnets.Vessel Overview Gillnetters. In artisanal fisheries no specialized vessels are needed. Bigger boats or vessels, engaged in gillnetting are equipped with net haulers.Fish OperationThe dominant method of capture is by gilling.Target SpeciesPelagic, demersal and benthic species. The size distribution of the catch is very much dependant on the mesh size used in the gillnet.Water Area OverviewSet gillnets are today widely used all over the world.Gear EnvironmentSet gillnets are employed in inland and sea waters. According to their design these nets may be used to fish in surface layers, in mid water or at the bottom.ImpactsSpecies In general gillnets are fishing gears with a high degree of selectivity, regulated by the mesh size of the gear. Incidental catch of turtles and sharks are a matter of growing concern. An "International Plan of Action for the conservation and management of sharks" adopted by COFI aims to reduce the problem. In some areas the entangling of seabirds, especially ducks, is a problem for gillnet fishers. Closure of areas is one possibility to avoid this problem. "Ghost" fishing of lost gears is one of the major problems in the gillnet fishery. The synthetic fibres do not rot and the gear will fish for a long time. Fixing the floats to the netting with biodegradable material can reduce the problem.CostsGillnets are of special interests for artisanal fisheries because it is a low cost fishery. It is a gear with low energy consumption calculated on the relationship of fuel/fish.
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