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In-SEINE fun!

Recently one of our naturalists has been leading small groups of people seining! Seine netting, also known simply as seining, involves the use of a large, rectangular net with floats along the top edge and weights along the bottom. This setup allows the net to be deployed in the water, forming a barrier that can be dragged or hauled to capture fish and other organisms within its confines. While seine nets can vary in size and design, the basic principle remains the same across different applications.

One of the primary advantages of seine netting is its adaptability to various aquatic environments. Whether in freshwater streams, rivers, estuaries, or coastal oceans, seine nets can be utilized to sample the diverse life forms that inhabit these ecosystems. This versatility makes seining a popular choice among scientists, educators, and recreational enthusiasts alike, providing valuable insights into the biodiversity and ecological dynamics of aquatic habitats.

a group of people on a beach seine netting

A group of students trying out seine netting!

So, how exactly does one go about seine netting? The process typically involves a team effort, with individuals strategically positioning themselves along the shore or aboard a boat to encircle the target area with the net. Once in position, the net is slowly pulled through the water, either by hand or with the assistance of a boat, creating a temporary enclosure where fish and invertebrates become trapped.

One of the key elements of successful seine netting is understanding the behavior of the target species. Certain fish may be more prone to swimming into the net, while others may actively avoid it. By observing their movements and adapting your approach accordingly, you can increase your chances of a fruitful catch.

It’s important to note that seine netting should always be conducted responsibly and with consideration for the environment. Proper permits and regulations may be required depending on your location and the specific species you’re targeting. Additionally, care should be taken to minimize harm to non-targeted organisms and their habitats, ensuring sustainable practices for future generations to enjoy! 

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