Gulf of Lions sardine purse seine and beach seine fishery


ZONE DE PECHE : Golfe du Lion (GSA 7)

STOCK AREA: Gulf of Lions (GSA 7)


Sardine, Sardina pilchardus


Purse seine and beach seine


VOLUME OF LANDINGS :  986.9 tons in 2013



Purse seine : 70 french vessels in 2015

Beach seine : 6 french vessels in 2015



Purse seine : Port-Vendres (PV), Sète (ST), Martigues (MT), Marseille (MA), Toulon (TL)

Beach seine : Nice (NI)



This fishery utilises two types of fishing gear: purse seine and beach seine. A purse seine is a large wall of netting used to surround schools of fish from the sides and from below, thus stopping them from escaping by diving. A beach seine is a net operated from shore. It is used to catch sardine whitebait.

Purse seine fishing operates throughout the summer and in early autumn, while beach seine fishing operates throughout the winter and in spring (between February and May). Both methods are practised in the Gulf of Lions.

Pre-assessment results-évaluation

Results of the MSC pre-assessment, conducted using the precautionary principle (bar filled = benchmark achieved). Only some of the data is presented here. For a full listing of the results, please visit the Medfish website.



  • Stocks are scientifically monitored
  • Very selective gears with little impact on threatened, endangered and protected species and benthic habitats
  • Management plan in place for purse seine and beach seine with clear and explicit long-term objectives
  • Stocks are in a state of ecological imbalance
  • Need for more coherence between stock structures and management unit
  • Biological reference points and harvest control rules to be defined
  • Additional proof needed to assure the harvest strategy is working

> Download this fishery factsheet

> Read the pre-assessment report of this fishery

> Read the action plan of this fishery