This project was commissioned by WWF-UK in early 2016 to contribute to the ongoing discussions surrounding the use of fish aggregating devices (FADs) in tuna fisheries. A report was prepared that presented a synthesis of the most up-to-date research and opinions on the potential impacts and benefits of FADs and their management at global and regional levels. It also offered a series of recommendations for how the management of FADs might be strengthened and how scientific understanding of the impacts of FADs could be further developed.
The work was undertaken in three main tasks, split across two phases: a research phase, collating information from literature and expert stakeholders to provide an overview of FADs and their management; and an advisory phase, presenting a set of principles and recommended actions for policy, management and science in order to reduce the negative impacts of FADs and understand their benefits. Literature reviewed included published scientific papers, technical reports, non-academic literature, and key informants included researchers, fishery managers, industry stakeholders and other civil society groups from around the world.
The report highlighted the widespread use of FADs, summarised both their positive and negative impacts, and documented ongoing efforts to better understand, and mitigate, the issues associated with their use. Recommendations for further action included strengthening data reporting and monitoring, improving FAD management strategies, mitigating impacts through innovative design and materials, limiting FAD use and increasing communication and collaboration.
The final report is available for download from the WWF website: