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set net code of practice

the net

Design and construction

Use the net properly designed for the fish you are targeting. There are correct net types to target each of the major fish species that can be taken by set net. For example, nets used in harbours and estuaries to target mullet, flatfish, or herrings are usually made of light materials, and an appropriate mesh size for the species of fish.

Mullet or flounder nets should not be used outside harbours, estuaries, or sheltered waters. Strongly constructed nets with larger mesh are intended for more open, exposed waters where fish are larger, and the use of nets with a smaller mesh size may result in the capture of fish which must be returned to the sea.

Minimum mesh sizes are regulated for each of the major set net target fisheries based on the size, biological characteristics, and shape of each fish species. Consult your regional regulations to find the correct mesh size for the species you wish to target, and when purchasing a net make sure you specify what species you will be fishing.

Below are some general features of a good net. If you are not familiar with set netting, please consult an experienced net maker before purchasing or constructing a net.

When targeting species that swim close to the bottom, such as flounder, unwanted bycatch can be minimised by bagging the net. To do this you should tie down the floatline of the net to the lead line to a height of approximately 30 cm at regular intervals along the net. Alternatively, use low, loosely slung nets which are made of light materials.


Use anchors that are designed for the conditions.

Concrete blocks, bricks, or sash weights will not hold even in a moderate current and should never be used in these conditions.

The anchor bridle should be weaker than all other ropes so that if it becomes fouled, the anchor can break free from the net.

Some fishers find it helpful to use grapple anchors with tines that can straighten and release with a strong pull. Anchors should weigh about 1 kg for each 10 metres of net, so that a 60 metre net would have a 6 kg anchor at each end.

Nets cannot be staked.

Updated : 7 August 2008