Danish seines and bottom trawls operate differently and have different catching processes. Both gears belong to the same legislative category in European fisheries, but different management strategies in other countries and criticism by fishers on grouping Danish seines and trawls together indicate disagreement on current gear classification. This study compared both gears in terms of their fishing characteristics and catches of commercial species based on 16 years of observer data. Danish seining is a specialised fishing method that targeted few species but with higher total catch rates than bottom trawlers. Bottom trawling is a more all-purpose fishing method that targets a larger number of species, and bottom trawlers use larger engines than Danish seiners. A generalised additive mixed model indicated that catch rates of flatfish are generally higher for Danish seines, and catch rates of roundfish species are higher for trawlers. The results do not directly suggest a separation of the gears in terms of legislation as the quantities of fish below current minimum size were similar, but for example future survival studies may reach different conclusions. Additional factors were found to be important in determining catches of both gears.
Noack, T., P. Fransen, R., Wieland, K., Krag, L. A., Berg, F., & Madsen, N. (2017). Fishing profiles of Danish seiners and bottom trawlers in relation to current EU management regulations. Fisheries Management and Ecology, 24(6), 436-445. https://doi.org/10.1111/fme.12244