For a full list of Frequently Asked Questions about the Gear database please see below.


What is the purpose of the database?

The Seafish Gear Database provides details of common fishing gears and selectivity devices used in commercial fisheries throughout the UK and Europe – including full descriptions, illustrations and links to scientific trials and reports.

Why was the database developed?

We have access to a vast amount of expertise in this area and the Gear Database compliments the Basic Fishing Methods booklet in making it much more accessible to everybody. Content will continually expand as we upload our own library of information into the website, and we are also working with CEFAS to establish a link to their database where they have summarised many of the scientific reports

Who is the database suitable for?

It is primarily aimed at fishermen and fishery managers, to help them increase their knowledge on Gear Types, Selectivity Devices, and their impact, to help them improve the efficiency and sustainability of their Catch.

We also hope the design makes the information accessible to all from policy makers and academics to the supply chain and environmental groups – essentially anybody who would like to know more about fishing gear and selective devices.

Where can I get more information on the selectivity trials reports?

This can be requested from the authors or the institute that compiled the report, details of whom will be easily found on the reports themselves. For many reports this will be Marine Scotland, Seafish, CEFAS, or DARD and more information may be available on their websites.

How often is the database updated?

The content will continue to evolve indefinitely as we work through our own library of information, and come across new reports and information becoming available. Seafish will endeavour to get any new information available as soon as possible.

The terms used in the explanations can be quite technical, can I get an explanation of them?

Yes, most are explained in the Glossary that is available on the menu bar.

Can I download the various reports?

Yes, they are all in pdf format so can be downloaded easily.

Can I search for gears relevant to a particular species?

Yes by using the species filter, only gear and selective devices relevant to that species will appear.

Can I print out the results?

This functionality has not been included in the website at this time but if we receive feedback from users suggesting it would be helpful we can look at incorporating it into future developments.

How do I search the database.?

You can enter your search requirements in any of the three search boxes on the homepage. The site will come up with suggestions to answer your search. Click on one of those to go to that page.

Can I search for only fishing gear?

Yes by choosing ‘Gear’ in the drop down filter only gear profiles will be shown

Can I search for only ‘Selective devices’?

Yes by choosing ‘Elective Devices’ in the drop down filter only gear profiles will be shown

Where do I go for more information on the environmental impact of the gears?

The environmental impact of the gears is quite dependent on the fishery and type of sea bed they are being used in. Further information by fishery can be found in our Risk Assessment for Sourcing Seafood (RASS).

How will it help with the landings obligation?

It will provide easy access to technical and scientific information on gear and selective devices that should stimulate the industry to be a bit creative with their ideas on how to make their gear more selective so as to minimise discards

Are there any specific species or vessel types that the gear database will be especially helpful for?

The database should cover all types of fishing gear that are in common use in UK and Europe. In terms of the additional information available within the profiles then trawl gear may well dominate at present as this is where the majority of the selectivity work has been done in the past. However there are also reports and information covering gill nets pots and traps, scallop gear, line fishing.

The content will continually expand over time as we complete content population with the additional information Seafish has within our own library and establish links to other sources of information e.g. CEFAS.

Why is it important for vessel owners to invest in gear/selectivity devices?

More and more pressure is being put on vessels and skippers a to provide evidence that their gear meets definite standards in environmental impact, selectivity and minimising discards it is hoped that the database will give be a source for a lot of information that will help them achieve this.

How can I get financial support to test selective devices?

For financial support there are several groups in the UK that can assist with sourcing funding in trialling innovative concepts in selectivity and discard reduction. One of the first points of contact should be their government fisheries departments. (Also with the opening of EMFF fund through their associations they may be able to access this European funding.)

How do I access the illustrations?

To access the illustrations please register with the Seafish Asset Bank.