Southeast Asian fishermen preparing for nightly catch against a colorful tropical sunset over sea and mountains, with the skeleton of water-based pole house. Bohol, Philippines.
Man displays red snapper caught in his large seine net on a tropical island in the Caribbean.
The history of seining dates back thousands of years and is quite fascinating. Seine nets were made from natural materials and were used to catch food to feed families. The earliest nets were made from flax, reeds, grasses and other threadlike plant materials. The oldest known net, dating back to 8300 BC, was found in the ancient city of Andréa, Finland (now Kaemennogorsk, Russia). This net was made of willow, was approximately 98’ long, 4’ deep, with a mesh of approximately 2”.
Present day use of seine made with grass, Hawaii.
Native Americans living along the Columbia River would construct their nets with spruce wood fibers or grasses. They would use large stones tied to the weight line and cedar sticks along the float line. The sticks would not only help to keep the top of the net afloat, but the clatter of the sticks would frighten the fish, which would aid in getting them caught in the net. In 1895, a technique was devised to pull their seines with horses, a practice that was outlawed in 1948.
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A Mozambican fisherman pulling a fishing net from the water, Mozambique, Southern Africa.
Seining on the Columbia River, circa 1915.
Glass floats were used to hold up seine nets before modern day plastics were discovered.
Found within some Egyptian tombs, there are depictions of men using nets. Nets are also mentioned in the written historical documents of early Rome and Greece.
Nets are widely used all over the world. The recent, and much needed, conservation efforts have resulted in many new regulations for seine netters and bans on some types of nets in some regions; however, by giving back to and protecting our oceans and rivers, the use of nets for fishing should live on for many generations to come.
Two boys using a net in a river in Asia, present day.
Fishermen collecting their day’s catch, Merekuba's Tomb, Saqqara, Egypt; 6th Dynasty
By kairoinfo4u (http://www.flickr.com/photos/manna4u/530293104/) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Net Fishing, 14th Century; Tacuinum Sanitatis (Medieval Health Handbook).