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Project M.5.b - Reducing losses, and fostering recovery of FADs in the purse-seine fishery in the EPO

01 May 2021 - 31 May 2023

  • Evaluate the extent of stranded, abandoned or lost FADs (SAL-FADs) in the EPO.
  • Evaluate the impact of SAL-FADs on coastal areas and islands of the EPO, with special emphasis on identification of deploying locations.
  • Identify or develop oceanographic models to forecast strandings of FADs.
  • Based on findings, develop mitigation and management measures and strategies to minimize SAL-FADs. Promote recovery of SAL-FADs and evaluate its effectiveness.
  • SAL-FADs have an impact on coastal areas in the EPO, but the information available is mostly anecdotal.
  • Some FAD components lost at sea or not retrieved, particularly those made of plastics or other materials that are not readily degradable, can last many years in the environment as pollutants and threaten vulnerable ecosystems.
  • SAL-FADs can also be a danger to navigation.
  • SAL-FADs may produce ‘ghost-fishing’ in the EPO.
Relevance for management
  • Ecological impacts on vulnerable ecosystems are an important factor in FAD fishery management.
  • Results may be useful for CPCs in the development of best fishing practices and management measures for FADs
28 months
Workplan and status
  • May 2022-March 2023: Survey stakeholders about areas and impacts of SAL-FADs.
  • Previous versions of this document planned research on identifying or develop ocean circulation model to forecast FAD trajectories beyond fishing grounds. This plan has been combined with M.5.c
  • Based on models from project K.1.a [Poseidon] and the result of surveys, identify levels of sensitivity and categorize possible stranding areas.
  • As permitted by restrictions due to pandemic allow: Workshop with stakeholders and ISSF scientists to identify mitigation strategies for SAL-FADs, based on findings of survey and models
  • Based on results from above: Present a report of all findings and proposals for mitigation strategies at.
External collaborators
Poseidon team
At this point, due to restrictions due to pandemic, a schedule of timing is not possible.
Updated date: 01 May 2023
Progress summary for the reporting period
  • Development and distribution of survey on impact of SAL-FADs. 20 responses to date: academic (1), consultant (1), industry (2), environmental NGOs (3), industry NGO (6), government (7).
  • Two staff members attended the ISSF-sponsored workshop on the reduction of the impact of FADs in September 2018.
  • Two staff members participated in a SPC-WCPFC sponsored workshop on the implementation of a framework for data collection on FAD stranding events. Arrangements are being made to present this WCPO initiative in the 2023 FAD WG meeting.
Challenges and key lessons learnt
  • In despite to repeated notices to encourage stakeholders to participate in the survey, the response has been poor.
  • Pandemic conditions have not allowed in-person meetings which in the opinion of the staff is necessary to foster discussion.-
  • Original project start date was early 2018, but it was delayed, and to date only the first objective has been addressed, as noted with minimum success.
  • The modelling of FAD movements is being combined with other projects (K1.a and M.5.c).