Towards the use of non-entangling and biodegradable dFADs: actions to mitigate their negative effects in the ecosystem
In the last decades, science-industry active collaboration has resulted in actions aiming at mitigating the potential negative effects of drifting fish aggregating devices (dFADs) on marine species and ecosystems. The increasing use of dFADs in tropical tuna fisheries has moved scientists and the EU fleet to search for solutions in oceans where they operate. These actions mainly seek to avoid entanglement and promote release of vulnerable species through voluntary adoption of a Code of Good Practices. Besides the efforts to promote the use of non-entangling dFADs (NEFADs), the actions are recently being focused on the use of natural origin materials for dFAD construction to reduce marine litter and impacts when dFAD beaching occurs in sensitive areas like coral reefs. This document summarizes the main actions put in place at global scale by the EU tropical tuna purse seine (PS) fishery: i) ISSF Skippers Workshops, ii) Code of Good Practices, and iii) small and large-scale trials for biodegradable dFADs.