Report on analyses of the 2016/2021 PNA FAD tracking programme

Escalle L, Muller B, Vidal T, et al (2021) Report on analyses of the 2016/2021 PNA FAD tracking programme. In: WCPFC Scientific Committee 17th Regular Session. WCPFC-SC17-2021/MI-IP-04, Electronic Meeting

This paper presents analyses of the PNA’s Fish Aggregating Device (FAD) tracking trial programme including: a description of the data processing techniques used; a description of the spatio-temporal distribution of buoy deployments and number of FADs at sea; FAD densities; matching between VMS and deployment positions and an analysis of the fate of FADs. As FADs drift in the ocean, the associated electronics can be replaced making it difficult to follow each individual FAD. Therefore, for the purposes of this analysis we followed the satellite buoys attached to FAD, unless otherwise stated. ... We invite WCPFC-SC17 to: - Note this analysis on the PNA FAD tracking data and the progress being made by PNA in FAD tracking for the purpose of improving FAD management in PNA waters. - Note the importance of complete FAD tracking data to support scientific analyses and encourage their provision by fishing companies. - Note that 57% of FADs were deployed by purse seiners, 4.6 by other vessels, and that 25% of FADs could have been activated at-sea remotely. - Note these analyses and the patterns identified. In particular, note the increase through time in the number of FAD per 1° cell in areas of high FAD densities. This corresponds to FADs being less than 12 km from each other. - Note that findings of this paper highlighted that more than 44.1% of buoys were estimated to be abandoned and 6.6% beached; as well as the increase in number of buoys with uncertain fate (21.3 % in 2020).