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The FFA helps Small Island Developing States to develop plans for managing FADs, which affect fish stocks.

FADs are used to attract fish to aggregate in dense schools so that less time is spent searching for highly migratory fish.

But FADs can:

  1. reduce populations of bigeye and yellowfin tuna when purse-seine fishing catches greater numbers of juvenile fish around FADs
  2. interfere with longline fishing, with a higher risk of gear getting entangled with the mooring ropes of FADs.

What are FADs?

Fish aggregating devices (FADs) are (usually man-made) structures floating on or near the surface of the water where fish may congregate.

They may be free floating or anchored to the seabed. Examples are buoys, floats, netting, webbing, plastics, bamboo, logs and whale sharks.

In 2012, the Pew Environment Group estimated that he number of drifting FADs put into the oceans each year ranges from 47,000–105,000.

FAD management plans consider:

  1. limiting the number of FADs used by purse-seining fishing vessels
  2. modifying the design, operation, location and maintenance of FADs to minimise disruption to other fisheries.
  • Marine Stewardship Certification (MSC)

An Evaluation of the Sustainability of Global Tuna Stocks relative to the MSC Criteria (Dec 2017), provides a basis for comparing between stock scores, is a useful source document for future tuna certifications or in the establishment of tuna Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) and offers a “snapshot” of the current status of the stocks.

With best practices for monitoring fish stocks, SIDS are more empowered to control their fisheries. Photo credit: Francisco Blaha
  • Tuna fisheries management plans

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