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ROA Date Performed: March 3, 2017

BS Fisheries III Date Submitted: March 19, 2017



One of the most commonly used fishing gears in the Philippines is the beach seine

(also known as dragnet) brought about by the availability of the sandy and gradually

sloping beaches that are found along the coastal regions of the country (“Fishing Gear

and Methods 2017). This fishing technique is most efficient when done in areas where

there is an abundance of large schools of fish. Contrary to the Danish seine, this gear is

usually operated from the shore composing of a bunt and long wings with rope used for

towing the seine to the beach. Stock assessments and surveys regarding seine net

municipal production reported in Fisheries Statistics (1995) suggests the 77.3%

contribution of beach seines in this sector.

Moreover, considerations in net structure classifies beach seines into two types:

beach seine with bag, and beach seine without a bag. Beach seine with a bag resembles a

trawl net with two wings, the body and the bag or cod-end. The beach seine without a bag

has a specialized construction in the central part with more slack and smaller meshes

(“Fishing Gear and Methods 2017). Below are the areas in the Philippines where beach

seining is mostly done.

The purpose of this report is to provide necessary and relevant information regarding

the beach seining operations in the Philippines, particularly in Brgy. Baybay Sur, Miagao,

Iloilo. The data presented in this paper are based mainly on the interview conducted with

one of the beach seine maestro in the said area.


An interview was conducted last March 3, 2017 at Brgy. Babay Sur, Miagao, Iloilo

focusing on the beach seine operation of the locals within the area. The resource person

was the boat captain, locally called as maestro, who spearheads the deployment and

hauling of the gear. Questions regarding the catch and factors that are to be considered

when doing this fishing operation were inquired. Rituals or folk beliefs of the fishers

were also included in this report. The data gathered were noted and compiled for further

discussion with reference to supporting literature. Furthermore, actual beach seining

activity was done right after the short interview and the morphometric characteristics of

the by-catch were measured.


Gear Description

The type of beach seine utilized in this activity is the beach seine without a bag. The

gear is composed of a bunt and long wings often lengthened with long ropes used for

towing the seine to the beach (Fishing Gear Types N.D.). The net has an overall length of

150 m with a width of 3-4 m. These nets have floats attached along the float line to allow

them to be sunk if desired to fish on the bottom, while the lead line or footrope is

weighed (Robards and Piatt N.D.). Footropes are permanently attached to the bottom to

act as barriers to prevent the catch from escaping the area enclosed by the net.

Polypropylene ropes used for towing stretches from 100-150 m in length and is attached

to the bridle at the end of the net.


Gear Category: Seine Nets

Standard Abbreviation: SB

ISSCFG Code: 02.1.0

Local names: Sahid, Bitana

Resource Person:

Name: Marlon Caro

Age: 29
Occupation: Fisherman
Boat/ Gear Information
Fishing Experience: 8 years of
beach seining; 15 years in the
industry of fishing
Cost:of Operation: Along the
coast of Brgy. Baybay Sur and
Baybay Norte, Miagao
Crew Composition
Number of Operators: 3-4
persons to deploy the gear
Entire Operatio
Other gears operated: Longline
Boat/ Gear Information

The resource person uses either a motorized or non-motorized boat (bangka) for the

deployment of the fishing gear. The non-motorized boat has a length of 6 m with 2-3 ft

width. Additionally, the net utilized in the beach seine has a dimension of 150 x 4 m in

length and width, respectively. The length of the hauling line used for pulling the seine

towards the shore extends from 100-150 m.


The overall expenses for the construction of beach seine could reach up to 100 000

Php depending on who makes the gear. For a 150 x 4 m beach seine, 450 sinkers were

distributed along the footrope with 1 ft. distance each. The sinkers cost approximately

180 Php/kg and with a total of 30 kg of sinkers utilized, 5 400 Php was spent. The same

number of floaters were attached to the float line, each costing 25 Php, hence, 11 250 Php

was invested for the floaters alone. Additionally, two rolls of size 10 polypropylene rope

costs around 1 600 Php. Fifty rolls of net were used in beach seine construction and the

price of each roll is about 900 Php. Moreover, since the boat used is non-motorized, the

cost of its construction could be lessened. Around 8 000-10 000 Php was invested for

building the boat provided that the fisher folk are the ones responsible for its

construction. In the case of a motorized boat, however, the approximate investment for a

1.5 HP Honda engine is around 9 000 Php.

Crew Composition:

The beach seining operation is headed by the maestro who gives orders during the

entire operation. The number of personnel riding the boat for the deployment of the gear

ranges from 3-4. The maestro throws the net into the water while the other three paddles
the boat. During the hauling, 15-20 persons on shore pull both sides of the rope to tow the

seine towards the shore.

Entire Operation:

Time. The operation time of beach seining is done everyday starting from 5:530 pm

or earlier when the gear is set and deployed into the shore. Fisher folks aim to operate at

earlier time due to the number of competitors within the area. This will then be hauled

after an hour. In some of the times, however, this type of fishing operation may be done

in the morning as early as 4 am when fishes are visible enough. The species caught vary

depending on time when the beach seining was done.

Procedure. Beach seining procedure vary depending on the depth of the water. In

deeper areas of operation, the net is stacked in one non-motorized boat, to be towed by a

motorized boat. When setting the net, the first towing lines are fastened ashore. The other

parts of the gear will then be set out in a wide arc surrounding the target species, and

brought back to the beach. After a while, both side of the rope are pulled towards the

shore for hauling. This is done in a slow but forceful manner, riding along with the

current, to make sure that the buso (people who pull the rope) do not easily get tired. Use

of saklit are also done wherein the rope is wrapped around the waist to aid in pulling the

seine into the shore.

Post-harvest. Since the fisher folk operates at night, the target species is the acetes

sp. Based on the resource person’s information, the application of ice is not done on-site

or right after the towing of seine. Fisher folk usually have the option to sell their catch

directly to the market, or process it into fish paste depending on the abundance of species

caught. Moreover, the profit gained from this fishing operation is divided equally
between the worker and the owner of the boat and gear. Huge number of by-catch are also


Factors affecting catch. Like most of the fishing gears, one great factor that could

affect the catch during beach seine operation is the weather. Bad weather increases water

currents which can become very unfavorable for beach seining due to the amount of force

that the buso have to exert in towing and the strength of the water current that may cause

the bottom part of the net to lift. Moreover, the habitat that condition of the target species

or the area of operation of beach seine is also one important factor to consider. The

roughness or smoothness of the substrate, vegetation, wood, or even small debris could

snag or lift off the the bottom of the net, which may cause fish to escape. Furthermore,

water turbidity plays an essential role in blurring out the vision of the fish in order to

block anticipation of the incoming net, that might initiate escaping behavior.

Time of the year and day could also be a huge factor contributing to the effectiveness

of the fishing gear. Learning about the behavior of the target species, and studying their

spawning season allows the fisher folk to decide and design capture strategies as to when

to perform the operation by taking advantage of their distribution and behavior (Hahn,

Bailey and Ritchie N.D.)

Issues about the gear

Beach seines are generally designed to operate in shallow waters, be it inland, or

seas. Nevertheless, shallow waters close to the shore often times serve as spawning and

ground for fish. Due to the very small mesh size of this fishing gear, beach seining in

such areas pose threat into the breeding activities of various species that thrive along the

such water environment. This may lead to the frequent capture of juveniles and may be
the root cause of extinction of such species. Hence, several countries pass laws that

regulates/restricts the use of beach seining in fishing operations.


The table below presents the morphometric characteristics of different fish species

caught using beach seine during the beach seining operation conducted last March 3,

2017 at Brgy, Baybay Sur, Miagao. Some of the were still at the juvenile stage while

others are full grown adults.

Table 1. Catch composition with corresponding weight and length.

Weight Length
(g) (cm) Figures
FN: Trichiuridae
LN: Liwit; Espada 10.0 31.0
EN: Cutlassfishes
FN: Ostraciidae 70.0 12.7
LN: Tabaong
EN: Boxfish
FN: Synodontidae
LN: Karaho
EN: Lizardfish

40.0 13.2

FN: Platycephalidae
LN: Sunogan 15.0 10.5
EN: Flathead
FN: Priacanthidae
LN: Bukaw-bukaw 10.0 8.5
EN: Bigeye
FN: Exocoetidae
LN: Bangsi
EN: Flying fish

5.0 7.0
FN: Nemipteridae 50.0 11.2
LN: Bisugo
EN: Threadfin
FN: Leiognathidae 10.9
LN: Sapsap
EN: Ponyfish


FN: Synodontidae
LN: Karaho 30.0 9.9
EN: Lizardfish
FN: Soleidae 2.0 5.6
LN: Palad
EN: Solefish

FN: Soleidae 5.0 7.4

LN: Palad
EN: Solefish
FN: Gobiidae 5.5
LN: Talimusak 1.5
EN: Goby
FN: Trichiuridae
LN: Liwit (juvenile) 130.0 17.8
EN: Cutlassfish
FN: Engraulidae
LN: Dilis 1.5 5.5
EN: Anchovy
FN: Mullidae 45.0 12.7
LN: Salmonete
EN: Goat fish

FN: Clupeidae 30.0 15.9

LN: Tamban
EN: Sardinella
FN: Engraulidae 10.9
LN: Dilis 7.0
EN: Anchovy
FN: Teraponidae 8.1
LN: Bogaong 5.0
EN: Perch
FN: Carangidae 16.2
LN: Galonggong 40.0
EN: Scad
FN: Carangidae 12.0
LN: Galonggong 8.0
EN: Scad
FN: Fistularidae
LN: Torotot
EN: Trumpet fish

20.0 4.0

FN: Gempylidae
LN: Alumahan 9.0 7.8
EN: Snake mackerels
FN: Muraenidae
LN: Abo-abo 110.0 45.7
EN: Eel
FN: Synanceiidae 8.0 6.5
LN: Stonefish
EN: Stonefish
FN: Penaeoidea 5.0 5.1
LN: Pasayan
EN: Shrimp

FN: Grapsidae 5.0 5.1

LN: Kasag
EN: Paddler crab
FN: Menippidae
LN: Kasag 30.0 5.8
EN: Stone/Mud crabs

FN: Loliginidae
LN: Lokus 11.0 5.0
EN: Squid

FN: Sepiidae
LN: Lokus
EN: Cuttlefish

90.0 24.0

FN: Octopodidae
LN: Lokus 10.0 14.0
EN: Octopus
FN: Segestidae
LN: Hipon
EN: Sergestid shrimp

- 2.5

*FN- Family name, LN- Local name, EN- English name


Beach seine is one of the most commonly used fishing gears in the Philippines. It has

been utilized in several coastal areas all over the country by both the municipal and

commercial fishermen. The mode of hauling could be a bit strenuous as it requires lots of

force to tow the seine. Nevertheless, this type of gear poses threat to the ecosystem and

biodiversity of the aquatic organisms due to its mesh size and area of operation. Hence,

the use of beach seine in the Philippines have been regulated.


Fishing Gear types. Beach seines. Technology Fact Sheets. In: FAO Fisheries and

Aquaculture Department [Internet]. [Cited 2017 March 18]. Available from:
Hahn P.K.J.,Bailey R.E.,Ritchie A.(N.D.).Beach Seining.

Umali, Agustin F. 1950. Guide to the Classification of Fishing Gears in the Philippines .

Research Report 17. US fish and Wildlife Service. 165 pp.

Nedelec, C. Definition and Classification of Fishing Gear Categories. FAO Fisheries

Technical Paper No. 222, SEAFDEC, June 1986

Fishing gear and methods. 2017. [Internet]. [Cited 2017 March 18].

Available from:

Robards M., Piatt J.F. (N.D.). Everything you wanted to know about beach seining in

lower cook inlet but were afraid to ask. U.S. National Biological Service.

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