The use of man-made floating objects, also known as drifting fish aggregating devices (dFADs), by purse-seine vessels has increased in all oceans. In addition, purse-seine vessels often utilize other vessels – called supply, support, auxiliary or tender vessels – to deploy dFADs and service them.
The use of such vessels and recent technological advances have made purse-seine fishing with dFADs increasingly efficient and has contributed to effort creep. At present, three of the four tropical tuna RFMOs allow the use of these vessels in the tuna purse-seine fishery. The degree to which the use of support vessels is regulated, monitored, or to which data are collected on these vessels’ activities, including the deployment of FADs, varies. This technical report surveys how support vessels are currently treated in tuna RFMOs and identifies a set of best practice recommendations.