A novel FAD tracking device tested in the Pacific Ocean

Moreno G, Crochet T, Murua H, Restrepo V (2023) A novel FAD tracking device tested in the Pacific Ocean. In: IATTC - 7th Meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group on FADs. IATTC FAD07 3rd Party doc, La Jolla California USA

The present project consisted of testing in real fishing conditions beacons called NAOS to track drifting Fishing Aggregating Devices (FADs). These beacons were designed at CLS and 20 of them were tested for one year (October 2021 to October 2022) in the Pacific Ocean with the help of Atunera Dularra fleet. As part of this project, the usability, transmission quality, durability of the beacon as well as its autonomy were tested. The results show that both the NAOS beacons and fisher´s tracking buoys provided similar trajectories. Fishers monitored and track FADs for an average of 4.5 months, afterwards the FADs were being stolen or drifting out of the fishing ground. NAOS beacon was also able to continue tracking the trajectory of the FAD in the hands of other owners (i.e., when the buoy is replaced) for up to 11 months. Further tests with a larger number of FADs are recommended to improve the effectiveness of these beacons and better understand the technical and logistical needs to track drifting FADs.