Guidelines for defining the use of electricity in marine electrotrawling

Maarten Soetaert, Pim G. Boute*, William R.C. Beaumont

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Electricity can be used to facilitate fish and invertebrate capture in both marine and freshwater environments. In freshwaters, electrofishing is largely used for research or management purposes. In marine environments electrofishing is principally used in the form of electrotrawling for the commercial capture of fishes and benthic invertebrates, in particular common sole (Solea solea L.), brown shrimp (Crangon crangon L.), and razor clams (Ensis spp.). The terminology and definitions used to describe the electrical stimulus characteristics and experimental set-ups have, so far, been diverse and incomplete, hampering constructive discussion and comparison of electrofishing studies. This paper aims to (i) harmonize existing terminology, abbreviations, and symbols, (ii) offer best practice recommendations for publishing results, and (iii) provide a concise and comprehensible reference work for people unfamiliar with this topic. By incorporating common practice in marine electric pulse trawling terminology and related freshwater electrofishing studies, based on existing terms where possible, we provide a framework for future studies. The suggested guideline is recommended by the ICES Working Group on Electrical Trawling as a constructive approach to improved communication standards in electrofishing and electrical pulse stimulation research and publications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1994-2007
Number of pages14
JournalICES Journal of Marine Science
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1-Dec-2019
Externally publishedYes


  • electrical pulse parameters
  • electrofishing
  • guidelines
  • ICES
  • pulse trawling
  • terminology

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