Testing designs and identify options to mitigate impacts of drifting fads on ecosystem

The aim of this study is to provide the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) with technical and scientific analysis to:

  • test the use of specific biodegradable materials and designs for the construction of drifting FADs in natural environmental conditions.
  • identify options to mitigate drifting FADs impacts on the ecosystem.
  • assess the socio-economic viability of the use of BIO FADs (i.e. non-entangling and biodegradable) in the Purse Seine tropical tuna fishery.

Specific objectives:

  1. Revision of the state of the art regarding the use of “conventional FADs” (i.e. entangling and non-biodegradable), “NE FADs” (i.e. non-entangling and non-biodegradable) and “BIO FADs” (i.e. non-entangling and biodegradable) worldwide.
  2. Evaluating the performance (e.g. lifetime) of specific biodegradable materials and designs for the construction of FADs in natural environmental conditions to address the concerns (e.g. marine litter, impacts on habitat, etc.) raised in the different RFMOs.
  3. Testing, comparing and measuring the efficiency of new BIO FADs against current non-entangling and non-biodegradable FADs to aggregate tuna and non-tuna species at sea in “real” conditions with the involvement of EU Purse Seine fishing fleet.
  4. Assessing the socio-economic impacts of BIO FADs use and phasing in.
  5. Assessing the feasibility of using new biodegradable materials by the European fleet and recommendation of an optimum BIO FAD prototype.

Partners: AZTI (leader), IEO, IRD, AGROCAMPUS QUEST, CEFAS, WMR, IPMA, MRAG)

Funding: Comisión Europea, EASME – Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

Lenght: january 2017 – may 2019

More information: HERE