Preliminary results of BIOFAD project: testing designs and identify options to mitigate impacts of drifting fish aggregating devices on the ecosystem ICCAT SCRS
The EU project BIOFAD was launched in August 2017 and is coordinated by a Consortium comprising three European research centers: AZTI, IRD and IEO. The ISSF is also actively collaborating by providing the biodegradable materials needed to test biodegradable dFADs. This project is seeking to develop and implement the use of non-entangling and biodegradable dFADs in the IOTC Convention Area. The main objectives of the project are: (1) to test the use of specific biodegradable materials and designs for the construction of dFADs in real fishing conditions; (2) to identify options to mitigate dFADs impacts on the ecosystem; and (3) to assess the socio-economic viability of the use of biodegradable dFADs in the purse seine tropical tuna fishery. This document shows the preliminary results regarding the effectiveness of around 783 BIOFADs deployed, in terms of tuna aggregation, drift, materials’ durability, etc. in comparison to currently deployed NEFADs (non-entangling dFADs). The project BIOFAD has counted since its inception with the support of the whole EU purse seine tuna fishery and, more recently, with the collaboration of the Korean purse seine fleet.