Friday, August 14, 2015

14/08/2015: Pacific Islands encouraged to use more FADs

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Pacific Island countries have been encouraged to increase their use of fish aggregating devices (FADs) in order to improve the supply of fish in the region, reports WorldFishing.

The use of anchored, near shore FADs is widely recognized as being one of the few practical methods for increasing the tuna catches of small–scale fishers.  In the Pacific Islands region, large local catches of tuna are needed to help supply the fish required for the growing population.

Already, there are more than 300 FADs in use anchored near shore and offshore among various Pacific Island countries. It is believed that many more will be needed in future. However, considerable planning, research and monitoring is needed to enable the full benefits of near shore FADs to be harnessed.

A research team led by Conservation International and the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS) at the University of Wollongong has outlined the various investments that would be needed to establish near shore FADs as part of the regional infrastructure for food security. Pacific Island governments and their development partners must consider these investments.

 “There are healthy stocks of skipjack and yellowfin tuna in the region. Near shore FADs are a cost-effective way of increasing access to these fish for Pacific Island communities,” observes Johann Bell, a Visiting Professor at ANCORS.

“FADs increase the chances of small-scale fishers catching tuna and improve the supply of fish for growing populations. Pacific Island governments can improve the supply of nutritious food by allocating more of their tuna resources for local consumption and investing in near shore FADs.”

Fish forms a much greater part of the diets of the people who live in the Pacific Islands region than it does for other people across the world. Fish typically accounts for 50 percent to 90 percent of the animal protein intake for Pacific Island communities.

Read the full article HERE.

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