Guidelines for Non-entangling and Biodegradable FAD Materials

FAD Management Options IWG (2022) Guidelines for Non-entangling and Biodegradable FAD Materials. In: WCPFC Scientific Committee 18th Regular Session. WCPFC-SC18-2022/EB-IP-06, Electronic Meeting

1. In November 2020, the FAD Management Options Intersessional Working Group (FADMO-IWG) finalized a draft Guidelines for non-entangling and biodegradable FADs, which was forwarded to the Commission. The WCPFC17 in December 2020 provided the following recommendation (Paragraph 349, WCPFC17 Summary Report): 349. Noting that the SC16 and TCC16 could not complete the task in paragraph 22 of CMM 201801 due to the limited agenda resulting from COVID-19, the Commission tasked SC17 and TCC17 to review the draft guidelines for non-entangling and biodegradable FADs prepared by the FAD Management Options IWG (Attachment K). The FAD Management Options IWG should revisit the draft guidelines based on input from those bodies as well as any additional scientific and technical information on non-entangling and bio-degradable FADs.
2. In the SC17 online discussion forum, there was general support on strengthening the existing provisions to reduce entanglement on FADs as proposed by the FADMO-IWG and acknowledgement that more work is needed before further requirements are put in place for the use of biodegradable materials in FADs. It was also noted that research on the use of biodegradable materials has experienced some delays due to the impacts of COVID-19. It was also acknowledged that lower entanglement risk FADs are not ideal but their use is a transitional step in moving to the desired goal of fully non-entangling FADs. There was also a suggestion on tracking weights of dFADs to estimate the trends in plastic use in dFADs overtime.
3. In the TCC17 plenary and online discussion forum, there was general support for the use of nonentangling and biodegradable FAD materials. There was also a general support for research on the development and application of suitable biodegradable materials in FAD construction including the use of locally available materials. There was a majority support to move to fully non-entangling FADs and to begin transition as soon as possible noting some challenges and difficulties faced by other CCMs such as logistical concerns about getting materials to ports and other logistical hurdles resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.