Ghost Gear Report - 26

1.3 FISH AGGREGATION
DEVICES (FADS) are

used extensively in tuna fishing
around the world. Fish naturally
aggregate around floating objects
and fishers have capitalized on this
behaviour, concentrating fishing
effort around floating objects and
intentionally deploying floating
objects to attract fish. Estimates
of annual global deployments of
FADs range from 45,000 to over
100,00086. FADs are commonly
constructed using netting from
old purse seines or other sources.
Netting is often wrapped around
rafts and also used as subsurface
appendages, stretching to depths
of 70m or more in some cases.
Purse seine netting mesh sizes
vary from 90mm to 200mm87. This
netting can entangle fish and other
animals that aggregate around the
FAD as well as predators that are

26

attracted to the aggregations of
prey species. While many drifting
FADs are tracked using satellite
buoys, It is common practice for
fishers and fishing companies
to cease tracking drifting FADs,
rather than recovering them, when
they drift out of fishing areas88.
Harmful impacts after the FADs
are no longer being tracked or
used by fishing companies include:
continued entanglement of
vulnerable species in FAD netting
and rafts; and harmful impacts
to marine and nearshore habitats
of beached FADs89,90,91,92,93,94.
Research is currently being
conducted to design biodegradable
FADs which would help reduce the
impact95,96. See figures 6 and 7.



Ghost Gear Report

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Ghost Gear Report

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