LA Ring Net
- Lampara Net
- Purse Seine
A LA Ring Net is a long net that is shot to surround a shoal of pelagic fish with a ‘wall’ of netting. It can be operated by a single vessel or by a pair of vessels. It is similar to a purse seine but without the running purse line. Also it is usually on a smaller scale.
The ring net is very species selective in for the smaller pelagics, in that it is usually only be used on a seasonal basis on particular areas when the particular target species is known to shoal up in that area at that time of year.
As with purse seining, the skipper can also tell by shape and behaviour of the shoal whether it is the target species or not. they can also aim to catch the size of fish they are looking for by picking a certain section of the shoal. Larger fish are often on the outside of the shoal. Very occasionally there may be some larger fish or cetaceans encircled in the net but these can easily be released without too much loss of target species.
If the catch is the wrong species or the wrong size the whole catch can be released unharmed before the net is hauled completely. The ring net should not come into contact with the seabed therefore no seabed impact.
As a ring net is not towed through the water by the vessel, and this method is often used by small inshore vessels with small engines, it has low fuel consumption, very low green house gas emissions.
In many European fisheries, the ring net was the fore-runner to purse seine for targeting shoals of pelagic fish. Ring nets are generally smaller and lighter than a purse seine and, in the beginning, were operated by two vessels.
The main difference between a ring net and a purse seine is that in a traditional ring net, the footrope is fixed to the bottom of the netting by short ropes, where as in a purse seine, the footrope runs through rings that are attached to the bottom of the netting. This allows the bottom of the purse seine to be closed up (pursed) by hauling on the purse line that runs through the rings.
Nowadays, many modern ring nets also use the running purse line system to close the bottom of the gear. In some fisheries, they classify the different pelagic surrounding nets by the way that they are hauled, and where the fish are congregated before taking them on board.
A purse seine is hauled from one end, with the strengthened bunt section at the last end of the net to be hauled on board. A ring net has the bunt section at the centre of the net, and is hauled from both sides at the same time. A lampara net, used in some overseas fisheries, is more like a traditional ring net, having a fixed footrope, the bunt in the middle and is hauled from both ends.
Stock Assessment of Small and Medium Pelagics: Status of Ring Net and Reef Seine Fisheries along the Kenyan coast
Main target species (UK)
- Juveniles of the target species
- Occasional cetaceans and mammals