Sardines refer to various small, oily fish that belong to the herring family, Clupeidae. The term is often used to describe young pilchards or herring, but it can also include other small fish such as sprats. Sardines are found in abundance in the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Pacific Ocean.

These fish are known for their rich, distinct flavor and high nutritional content. They are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and calcium.

So they are a significant economic resource for many coastal communities. Fishing for sardines contributes to the livelihoods of fishermen, processors, and other related industries.

There are many kinds of fishing methods to catch them. Let’s introduce the 5 most popular fishing nets used to catch sardines for you.

Purse seine net

Purse seine net is the most popular and suitable fishing net in the market to catch the sardines. Because it has high efficiency to catch the schools of fish near the surface of the water. And sardines are tend to swim in large groups on the surface of water in the open sea.

High Efficiency

Purse seining is highly efficient when targeting species like sardines that tend to form large and dense schools near the water’s surface. The method allows for the capture of a significant number of fish in a single operation.


While purse seining can be selective, there is still a risk of capturing non-target species, including juvenile fish and other marine organisms, especially if they are schooling with the target species.


If not properly managed, purse seining can contribute to overfishing, depleting sardine populations and disrupting the ecological balance of the marine environment.

High threshold

Purse seine is one kind of special fishing method in fishing industry, because it is not easy to do that. You should have the professional equipment, such as the purse seiner vessel. Meanwhile, you should have a skilled team, including the captain.

All of these could exclude most the fishermen in the market. So most of the seafood company has their own fleets and team.

Trawling net

Trawling is another fishing method commonly used to catch sardines. The trawling net includes the pelagic trawling and bottom trawling. The suitable for sardines is the pelagic trawling net.

High Efficiency

Trawling nets are efficient for catching sardines, especially when they are dispersed rather than aggregated in dense schools. Trawlers can cover a large area and target sardines over a broader range.

Bycatch and Discards

The bycatch is also the problem of trawling net. The trawling net will catch all the fishes in the target area, including any other non-target species along with sardines.

Vessel and Team

If you want to catch the sardines by trawling net, you should have a trawling vessel. Then you also need have a skilled team to operate it. High efficient fishing methods are due to professional fishing teams.


Overfishing is also a big risk for trawling. If not properly regulated, trawling can contribute to overfishing by removing too many sardines from the population, potentially disrupting the balance of the marine ecosystem.

Gill net

Gill net is another popular fishing net for fishermen. It is light weight enough, so it is easy to handle, it is welcome for many individual fishermen. They could use it to catch fish with their canoe.


Gill nets are relatively simple and cost-effective fishing gear. They are less expensive to manufacture and maintain compared to some other types of fishing gear. It is cheap enough that most of fishermen could afford the cost.

Selective Fishing

Because the fishes are caught by the mesh of gill net, so the size of fishes caught by one gill net could be similar. And the size of sardine is also similar, so it is suitable to catch the sardine.

Most of the fishes caught be the gill net would be sardines, it could reduce the capture of undersized or non-target species.

Ghost Fishing

The shortage is gill net is ghost fishing. In cases where gill nets are lost or abandoned at sea, they can continue to capture and kill marine life. This can contribute to overfishing and harm to marine populations.

Because of this reason, the gill net is illegal in some countries. It is harmfull to the population of marine, especially the small mesh gill net. So we should use small mesh nets as little as possible.

Trammel net

Trammel net is another choice for sardines. It is similar to gill net, both of them are all made from nylon monofilament net. The difference is that the trammel net is 3-layers fishing net. It could catch wider range of fishes.

As usual, the mesh size of outer net would be much bigger than inner net. The fish could swim through the mesh of outer net, but it could not swim through the mesh of inner net. so it is trapped between the inner net and outer net.

The trammel net has similar characters with gill net. Because the can catch wider range of fishes, so the only shortage which is different from gill net is bycatch.


Trammel nets can still result in bycatch, capturing non-target species or undersized fish. The entangling nature of the net can lead to unintended captures, which may include species of conservation concern.

Cast net

Cast net is also one kind of fishing net which is suitable to catch sardines.

Cast net is a type of fishing net that is thrown by hand in such a way that it spreads out while in the air before sinking into the water to capture fish.

Ease to handle

Using a cast net doesn’t require complex machinery or specialized equipment. Fishermen can quickly learn the technique of throwing a cast net to catch sardines.

It is very easy to handle, so it is very popular for the fishermen in river, lake and sea.

Limited Size

Because the cast net is threw by hand, so the size should not be too big, otherwise it will be very heavy to increase the difficulty in fishing. So that cast nets are generally effective in shallower waters. In deeper waters, other fishing methods may be more suitable for targeting sardines.

Low Efficiency

The cast net is handled by hand, so the fishermen should throw them out by hand each time. It is a hard work if they need throw over 100 times. So the efficiency of fishing is not so high.


Like many other fishing methods, cast nets can result in bycatch, capturing non-target species along with the intended catch. Care must be taken to minimize the impact on non-target marine life.


The mesh size of cast net is usually very small, such as 1”. The problem might be caused by cast net is overfishing. Because it will catch all the fish in the target area, including the small fish, so it is harmful to the population of small fish.


The purse seine net and trawling net is more suitable for commercial fishing. Because it need professional fleet and skilled team to operate them. If you are the seafood company or have your own vessel, they are the better choice for you.

Gill net and trammel net could be used in both commercial fishing and individual fishing or recreation fishing. If you have the big vessel, you could use them in the open sea and catch the bigger fish, such as tuna, mackerel, etc.

If you just have small boat or canoe, you could use them to catch the fish in the river, lake or the coastal sea.

Cast net is more suitable for the recreation fishing, it is more popular in the fishing in river and lake.

If you want to do business in the fishing net, I think the gill net, trammel net and cast net are more suitable for a start. It is light weight, the cost is also not high. You could sell them in local stores or on-line stores.

We are the supplier of Amazon stores, so that we have rich experience in this field. If you need any suggestions, or want to talk with me, I will be very happy to recieve your messages.

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Allen Gao

Hey, I am Allen Gao, the founder of, family business. We specialized in the one-stop solution of netting for fishing, sports, agriculture, safety and industry. We have provided our proposals for different clients arond the world to help them win the market, including the distributors, Amazon stores. Our target is to provide the most suitable products for you to increase your harvest and reduce your cost.

photo of Allen Gao
Allen Gao

Hey! I’m the author of this post, and I have been in this field for more than 5 years. If you want to distribute nettings or have any requirements, feel free to talk with me.

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