The Jelly-FAD: a paradigm shift in bio-FAD design - IOTC
Fishers and scientists in the three tropical oceans are investigating different designs of biodegradable FADs (bio-FAD) efficient for fishing. The tactic followed by most fishers is to maintain the same conventional drifting FAD (dFAD) design (submerged netting panels hanging from the raft) but made of organic ropes and canvas. Results of those experiences show that the lifetime of bio-FADs that maintain the conventional dFAD design but made of organic materials, is shorter than that required by most fishers. The short lifespan of those bio-FADs is due to the structural stress suffered by dFAD designs conventionally used. Thus, in order to use organic materials instead of the strong plastic, and increase the lifespan of those bio-FADs, a paradigm shift is needed. Bio-FAD structures should be re-designed to suffer the least structural stress in the water. The present document aims at (i) summarizing what we learned across the different experiences testing bio-FADs in the three oceans, (ii) proposing a new concept in dFAD design, the JellyFAD design, and (iii) providing recommendations to reduce the impact of dFAD structures on the ecosystem and for bio-FADs construction and use.