Anchored fish aggregating devices for artisanal fisheries in Southeast Asia: Benefits and risks


Anchored fish aggregating devices for artisanal fisheries in Southeast Asia: Benefits and risks

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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
Bangkok 2012


For centuries fishers have known that fish are attracted to and congregate around naturally occurring floating objects. They have also learned that by placing their own floating objects in the sea that fish would aggregate around them making catching easier. These man-made objects are called Fish Aggregating Devices or FADs and they can be either drifting or anchored. Since FADs can improve fish catches, governments and national fisheries agencies in the Asia region are examining the merits of using anchored FAD programmes. Their policy objectives are typically improved food security through better availability of localized aquatic animal protein, increasing the reliability of income from fishing for artisanal fishers and the creation of employment in coastal areas through fish and aquatic product trading and processing. In the last decade or so, FADs for both artisanal and commercial/industrial fisheries have proliferated in Asia and the Pacific region. In some areas this has caused concern about the potential negative impacts on fisheries and the marine environment. This has led environmental and conservation groups to lobby for FAD-free caught tuna, particularly in industrial type tuna fisheries. This book highlights the potential benefits of well co-managed anchored FAD programmes, which can contribute to overall food security. It covers the planning and background research requirements and emphasizes the importance and need for holistic and inclusive community consultation and monitoring processes and the development of enabling policies. The book also covers the environmental concerns and possible negative ecosystem impacts of unplanned and poorly managed programmes, which inevitably lead to unsustainable resource exploitation and financial and economic losses.

Table of Contents

Preparation of this document
Abbreviations and acronyms
What are fish aggregating devices (FADs)?
FAD programmes benefits, risks and threats
    Risks and threats for and by anchored FAD programmes
    Negative economic impacts
Conclusions and recommendations
Annex 1. Technical guidance on siting, construction, deployment and
    maintenance of anchored FADs

Annex 2. Case study I Niue
Annex 3. Case study II Southwest Indian Ocean
Annex 4. Case study III Comoros
Annex 5. Anchored FAD best fishing practices
References and further reading

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E-ISBN 978-92-5-107376-6 (PDF)

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