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 2015-12: Report of the 2015 ISSF Workshop on Non-Entangling FADs

Date Added: August 10, 2016
Downloaded: 412 times
Tags: Biodegradable FADs, FADs, Non-Entangling FADs, Purse Seine
Authors: ISSF
Language: English
Author(s): ISSF
Report Type: Workshop Report


San Diego, California, USA, February 16, 2015

Introductions and review of objectives

The use of FADs in purse seine fisheries has been under criticism in recent years because their use can generate higher bycatch rates versus sets on free-swimming schools. Three RFMOs – IATTC, ICCAT and IOTC – have put management measures in place that call for a transition to non-entangling FADs as one way to decrease this bycatch. At the same time, various groups have suggested that other design elements aimed at lessening FAD impact on the marine ecosystem – biodegradable components, for example – need to be implemented. In 2012, ISSF published guidelines for the construction of non-entangling FADs, which left specific, on-the-water designs to the fishing industry.

Given this background, many fleets have introduced design changes to their FADs. However, in most cases these changes have occurred on an isolated fleet-by-fleet basis. The Workshop was convened to serve as an open forum to share experiences and lessons learned about new FAD designs in use across ocean regions.

Prior to the meeting, invitations were extended to the tuna purse seine fishing industry at large, including ISSF Participating Companies and all of the owners of vessels on the ISSF Proactive Vessel Register (PVR). Also, several scientists from the ISSF Bycatch Steering Committee were invited. The following fleet representatives and scientists attended the Workshop: Leonardo Aguirre, Laurent Dagorn, JD Filmalter, Martin Hall, Brian Hallman, Kim Holland, Federico Iriarte, David Itano, Susan Jackson, Sarah Le Couls, Mike McGowan, Gala Moreno, Julio Morón, Jefferson Murua, Juan Miguel Nava, Victor Restrepo (Facilitator), Marlon Roman, Kurt Schaefer and Bobby Virissimo. The meeting was held at the offices of the American Tunaboat Association (ATA).