Pelagic, or midwater trawls have a cone-shaped body and a closed ‘cod-end’ that holds their catch.
Pelagic trawls are generally much larger than bottom trawls and can be towed by one or two boats (pair trawling). They are designed to target fish in the mid- and surface water, such as herring, hoki and mackerel. Acoustic technology is used to locate the position and depth of the target fish and the path of the boat(s) and trawls are adjusted accordingly.
MSC certified pelagic trawl fisheries take measures to minimise bycatch through the use of specific mesh sizes, exclusion devices and acoustic deterrents such as 'pingers'.
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What is purse seining? Purse seine nets are used in commercial fishing to target dense schools of midwater fish like tuna and mackerel.