13 Dec 2016

Pacific group to demand FADs registered before fishing

10:52 am on 13 December 2016

The Parties to the Nauru Agreement says nations wanting to fish in its members' exclusive economic zones will have to register the thousands of buoys and floats they use for attracting fish.

A Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority fisheries observer monitors tuna being off-loaded from a purse seiner in port Majuro, now said to be the busiest tuna transshipment port in the world

A Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority fisheries observer monitors tuna being off-loaded from a purse seiner in port Majuro. Photo: AFP PHOTO / Hilary HOSIA

The PNA's chief executive, Ludwig Kumoru, said the fish aggregating devices, known as FADs, have become vastly more efficient with the addition of satellite techhnology.

Mr Kumoru said the PNA estimates about 50,000 FADs are being used in the Pacific, with each boat having dozens.

He said his group, which controls the world's largest sustainable purse seine fishery, will require fishing operators to register FADs that have satellite capability with the PNA in order to get a licence.

"We will be working with the manufacturers of those FADs," he said.

"We will know exactly how many FADs by company - we will be able to track them, to try to understand how they behave. Because if we have to find some management control on these FADs, you have got really understand how they operate."

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