Mechanical effects

Because pulse trawls used in the fishery for sole are towed at a slower speed (5 knots or less) than the traditional tickler chain beam trawls (towing speed between 6 and 7 knots), pulse trawls have a smaller annual footprint in terms of the area fished.

Pulse trawls show a reduced penetration into the sediment and a reduced resuspension of sediments.


Depestele, J., Ivanović, A., Degrendele, K., Esmaeili, M., Polet, H., Roche, M., Summerbell, K., et al. 2016. Measuring and assessing the physical impact of beam trawling. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 73: i15-i26.

Depestele, J., Degrendele, K., Esmaeili, M., Ivanović, A., Kröger, S., O’Neill, F. G., Parker, R., et al. 2018. Comparison of mechanical disturbance in soft sediments due to tickler-chain SumWing trawl vs. electro-fitted PulseWing trawl. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 76: 312-329.

Rijnsdorp A.D., Depestele J., Eigaard O.R., Hintzen N.T., Ivanovic A., Molenaar P., O’Neill F., Polet H., Poos J.J., van Kooten T. 2020. Mitigating ecosystem impacts of bottom trawl fisheries for North Sea sole Solea solea by replacing mechanical by electrical stimulation. bioRxiv 2020.01.21.913731; doi: