Non-Entangling & Biodegradable FADs Guide

ISSF’s Non-Entangling & Biodegradable FADs guide for tuna fishers, Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs), governments, and vessel owners shows research-based best practices in Fish Aggregating Device (FAD) design — both to avoid bycatch and reduce marine pollution.

Four tuna RFMOs already require fleets in their regions that fish with FADs to use only non-entangling designs. Some RFMOs additionally encourage fleets to build those FADs with biodegradable materials. The guide, first published in 2012 and revised in 2019 to include the biodegradable recommendation, is available in several languages.

ISSF 2019-11: Recommended Best Practices for FAD Management in Tropical Tuna Purse Seine Fisheries

Date Added: August 21, 2019
Authors: Dr. Victor Restrepo, Holly Koehler, Dr. Gala Moreno, Dr. Hilario Murua
Downloaded: 2016 times
Tags: Best Practices, FADs, Purse Seine
Language: English
Featured: False
Report Type: Technical Report


Many industrial purse seiners use drifting Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) in tropical tuna fisheries. Management of the FAD component of these fisheries has been increasingly the focus of Regional Fishery Management Organizations and stakeholders such as ISSF.

ISSF and other NGOs have put together lists of the elements that they consider to be most important for effective management of FADs. This paper expands upon the six elements of management that ISSF considers to be of utmost importance:

(i) Complying with flag state and RFMO reporting requirements by set type
(ii) Voluntarily reporting additional FAD buoy data for use by RFMO science bodies
(iii) Supporting science-based FAD limits
(iv) Using non-entangling FADs to reduce ghost fishing
(v) Mitigating other environmental impacts due to FAD loss including through the use of biodegradable FADs and FAD recovery policies
(vi) Implementing further mitigation efforts for silky sharks.

We provide practical examples that fleets could adopt as their FAD management policies.

See also our related “Purse Seine FIPs Best Practices Checklist” and RFMO Best Practices Snapshot — 2021: FAD Management.