Purse Seine Fishing Pros and Cons

Purse seine fishing is a popular commercial fishing method that involves encircling schools of fish with a big net known as a purse seine. The net is then drawn closed like a drawstring purse, catching the fish inside. Due to its effects on marine ecosystems and nearby communities, this fishing method has both supporters and detractors. 

Purse Seine Fishing Pros and Cons

What is Purse Seine Fishing?

Purse seine fishing is a form of industrial fishing technique that is mostly used to target schooling fish species such as tuna, mackerel, herring, and sardines. It is frequently used in open waters where a lot of fish congregate. The procedure involves locating a school of fish, spreading a net around them, and then pulling the bottom of the net closed to capture the fish.

How Does Purse Seine Fishing Work?

During purse seine fishing, the crew of the boat employs a variety of techniques, such as visual spotting, sonar devices, and even aerial surveillance, to locate fish. When a potential school of fish is spotted, the fishing vessel maneuvers the net into position around the fish. The setup of the net enables the bottom to be dragged closed by ropes, squeezing the fish inside. After the capture is secured, the fish are either brought aboard or transferred to a larger vessel for processing.

Pros of Purse Seine Fishing

High Capture Efficiency for Large Catch

High catch rates are a hallmark of purse seine fishing. This technique is advantageous for commercial fishing operations due to the large nets employed may catch sizable amounts of fish in a single haul.

Decreased Bycatch

The capacity of purse seine fishing to minimize bycatch is one of its key benefits. Fishermen can target their intended species more precisely and catch fewer incidental fish by encircling particular fish schools with large nets.

Improved Fishermen's Safety

Purse seine fishing may be less dangerous for fisherman than some other fishing methods. Less direct contact with fishing equipment is made throughout the procedure, lowering the possibility of entanglement and accidents.

Boosting Local Economies

For coastal communities, purse seine fishing can be a major source of income. Through the processing and export of fish, it creates jobs and supports the regional economy.

Cons of Purse Seine Fishing

Effects on Marine Ecosystems

Even with its benefits, purse seine fishing has serious environmental disadvantages. Large nets can cause habitat devastation because they can entangle and harm other marine species and undersea structures.

Endangered Species Threat

Inadvertently catching and harming non-target species, such as endangered aquatic creatures like sea turtles, dolphins, and sharks, is a risk associated with purse seine fishing.

Concerns about Overfishing

Overfishing may also result from the successful outcome of purse seine fishing. This technique has the potential to reduce fish numbers and upset the harmony of marine ecosystems if improperly operated.

Impacts on Coastal Communities

Purse seine fishing at an industrial scale may have detrimental social and economic effects on coastal communities. Small-scale fisherman may be outcompeted by large commercial fishing operations, which could have an impact on their livelihoods and conventional fishing methods.


Is purse seine fishing only used for tuna fishing?

Purse seine fishing is frequently used for targeting tuna, but it is also used to catch other schooling varieties of fish including mackerel and sardines.

What are FADs, and how do they help in purse seine fishing?

Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) are artificial objects positioned in the ocean to draw fish. They make it easy to encircle fish with the net by gathering fish together in one spot, which helps purse seine fishing.

Does purse seine fishing have any regulations to protect marine life?

Yes, there are rules and regulations in many places to reduce the harm that purse seine fishing causes to non-target species and to marine ecosystems.

Can purse seine fishing support sustainable fishing practices?

It is possible to make purse seine fishing more environmentally friendly and support long-term sustainability by implementing sustainable measures like TEDs and fishing quotas.

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