By bottom trawl is meant the medium or large trawl gear, always towed by a vessel that moves over the bottom and is in contact with it. The bottom trawl may be of beam or boards.



Bottom trawl is towed by a single vessel and its horizontal opening is ensured by the relatively heavy trawl boards, which may be fitted with a steel shoe intended to withstand strong bottom contact.


The number of net meshes, in width, may not be increased from the front to the rear of the axis or lower in the codend. Devices shall not be fitted which obstruct or reduce the size of the mesh or grid. Linings and other devices provided for in Regulation (EC) No. 3440/84 may be used.

A maximum single and multi-thread thickness of 6 and 12 mm respectively is established.


 Mesh ranges

Depending on the target species:

  • • Crustaceans (except lobster): 55 mm to 59 mm
  • • Fish (certain species, not including hake): 65 mm to 69 mm
  • • All organisms: 70 mm.


 Target species

Bottom trawl with boards 50 to 55 mm (Crustaceans)

For vessels licensed only for 55-59 mm mesh - prawns, red shrimp and purple shrimp with a minimum of 30% target species.

If vessels are also licensed for mesh sizes of 70 mm or over, the percentage of target species shall be reduced to 20%.

Fish and cephalopods other than blue whiting may not be caught in quantities exceeding 30%.


Bottom trawl with boards 65 to 69 mm and 70 mm (Fish)

Main target species with 70% target species: horse mackerel, blue whiting, squid, octopus, sea breams, dogfish, pout, tongue, conger eel, rockfish and sea breams, etc.

If fishing is directed at other species such as hake, monkfish, megrim or whiting, these being over 30% of the catches, the legal mesh size is ≥ 70 mm.

Crustaceans may not be caught in quantities exceeding 30%.

In both cases, sardines may not be kept on board in quantities exceeding 10% of the total.


 Area of action

Between the 6 mile from the shoreline or the tie line of Capes Sines, Espichel and Raso (where applicable) and 200 mi. Vessels under 36 GT registered in Cascais may operate within 6 miles from the baselines, provided that they are more than 6 miles from the shoreline.


 Other constraints

No fishing in an area of the Costa Vicentina between 37º 50´N and 37º 00´ between December and February.

Fishing for Norway lobster in an area off the Sines (between 38º 10´N and 37º 45´N) is prohibited, except as by-catch up to 2% of the total on board between 1 May and 31 August and up to 5% in the remaining months.

Between 1st and 31st January, the fishing by crustacean trawlers (55-59 mm mesh size) is prohibited and the vessels licensed for this gear, even if licensed for ≥ 70 mm mesh size, must remain in port.





National Legislation


Ordinance No. 349/2013 of 29th November, republishes the Ordinance No. 1102-E/ 2000 of 22nd November

Ordinance No. 349/2013
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Ordinance No. 43/2006 of 12th January, establishing management measures for fishing for crustaceans

Ordinance No. 43/2006
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Ordinance No. 1102-E/2000 of 22nd November, approving the Trawl Fishing Regulation

Ordinance No. 1102-E/2000
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EU Legislation


Commission Regulation (EU) No. 404/2011 of 8th April 2011, which includes rules for trawls devices - consolidated version

Commission Regulation (EU) No. 404/2011
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