Just a FAD? Ecosystem impacts of tuna purse-seine fishing associated with fish aggregating devices in the western Pacific Warm Pool Province

Citation
Griffiths SP, Allain V, Hoyle SD, et al (2019) Just a FAD? Ecosystem impacts of tuna purse-seine fishing associated with fish aggregating devices in the western Pacific Warm Pool Province. Fisheries Oceanography 28:94–112. doi: 10.1111/fog.12389
Abstract

Abstract The western and central Pacific Ocean supports the world's largest tuna fisheries. Since the 1990s, the purse-seine fishery has increasingly fished in association with fish aggregating devices (FADs), which has increased catches of juvenile bigeye and yellowfin tunas and vulnerable bycatch species (e.g., sharks). This has raised concerns regarding the sustainability of these species? populations and the supporting ecosystem, but may provide improved food security of Pacific Island nations through utilisation of FAD-associated byproduct species (e.g., wahoo). An ecosystem model of the western Pacific Warm Pool Province was used to explore the potential ecological impacts of varying FAD fishing effort (±50% or 100%) over 30 years. The ecosystem has undergone a significant change in structure since 1980 from heavy exploitation of top predators (e.g., tunas) and ?fishing up the food web? of high-trophic-level non-target species. The ecosystem appeared resistant to simulated fishing perturbations, with only modest changes (