Design, construction, and deployment of an affordable and long-lasting moored deep-water fish aggregation device [article]

Eric Schneider, Edward Brooks, Michael Cortina, David Bailey, Shaun Killen, Travis Van Leeuwen
2021 bioRxiv   pre-print
Fish aggregation devices (FADs) are used worldwide to enhance the efficiency of various fisheries. Devices usually consist of a floating or subsurface component designed to exploit natural fish behavior, using species attraction to structure (e.g. Sargassum spp.) to aggregate fish and increase capture success in open ocean environments. Concerns have arisen regarding the scale and management of FAD-associated fisheries, however, the efficiency of FADs to accumulate fish species also introduces
more » ... es also introduces the possibility for FADs to be used as conservation tools to study pelagic species ecology. Building on two successful and several failed deployments of anchored deep-water (>500 m) subsurface (10 m) FADs over three years in The Bahamas, and observations from the subsequent FAD monitoring program, the objectives of the paper are to: 1) provide details and considerations for the design, construction and deployment of an affordable and durable deep-water subsurface FAD that can be deployed using small boats; and 2) highlight the potential for a long-lasting moored FAD to be used as a sustainable and reliable scientific platform for pelagic species research and conservation, lending specifically to several research applications. This information will be useful for assessing the impacts that FADs and other anthropogenic marine infrastructure have on wild marine species, and their efficacy for conserving pelagic fish through increased encounters for study.
doi:10.1101/2021.01.23.427792 fatcat:rpzga6zmmrbk5occgwvwx7bbwi