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Set nets in Jersey are efficient killing machines

March 13th, 2013
Set netting in Jersey

Set nets are usually strung across a gully below the half tide line

First the net catches the fish

Then the crabs eat the fish

Then the birds eat the crabs.

And everything gets entangled in the net.

By catch in Jersey.

Set nets once discarded, or lost, become efficient killing machines.

I’ve nothing against people who go low water fishing for their dinner or try to make a living. But it annoys me to discover discarded set nets off the south east coast of Jersey.

This is the fourth net we have found in the last year.

Crabs caught in a discarded set net

Crabs caught in a discarded set net

While I can understand that during storms a net might be ripped away from the rocks it is secured to I find it hard to understand how someone has obviously gone to the trouble of setting the net and, when it gets damaged in situ, cannot be bothered to go and remove it.

If you set a net you should accept responsibility for it whether it is catching fish or not. Don’t just leave it there.

No doubt there will be a reason for not checking the net, or taking it back ashore. I’d like to think there might be some reason as it is not the sort of thing people usually forget about. Perhaps it was the bad weather, but this was was forecast almost a week before, so I guess that is not a good excuse.

Oddly, there was no marking or labels to indicate who set the net -as is required by law– and in this helpful booklet: Recreational Low Water Fishing in Jersey.

Crabs entangled in a set net

Birds are likely to feed on the crabs and also get entangled in the net

Perhaps the markers got lost, or did someone remove the marks?

In the meantime I’ve let Fisheries know as they have removed discarded nets in the past once reported. We were 1.5 hours after low tide so were in a bit of a hurry as our short stroll had turned into a longer walk. The net will take a while to remove and take ashore.

The sea is not a dustbin.








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