Two men hauling in their fishing seine net at dusk
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Seine fishing (or seine-haul fishing) is a method of fishing that employs a seine or dragnet. A seine is a fishing net that hangs vertically in the water with its bottom edge held down by weights and its top edge buoyed by floats. Seine nets can be deployed from the shore as a beach seine, or from a boat.
Seines have been used widely in the past, including by stone age societies. For example, with the help of large canoes, pre-European Maori deployed seine nets which could be over one thousand metres long. The nets were woven from green flax, with stone weights and light wood or gourd floats, and could require hundreds of men to haul. American Native Indians on the Columbia River wove seine nets from spruce root fibers or wild grass, again using stones as weights. For floats they used sticks made of cedar which moved in a way which frightened the fish and helped keep them together. Seine net are also well documented in antiquity. They appear in Egyptian tomb paintings from 3000 BC. In ancient Greek literature, Ovid makes many references to seine nets, including the use of cork floats and lead weights.
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