Implementation of biodegradable FADs in the Eastern Pacific Ocean
Traditional Fish Aggregating devices, FADs, made of synthetic materials that do not biodegrade in the marine environment, have been severely criticized for their impacts on the ocean environment (e.g., marine pollution), population dynamics (e.g., fish behavioral changes), and pelagic fisheries management (e.g., difficulty in controlling unregulated fishing, increased mortality of juvenile fish). Considering the urgency to address and minimize these impacts in the Eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO), the member companies of the Tuna Conservation Group, TUNACONS Foundation, are seeking ecofriendly alternatives to improve the ecological and fishing efficiency of FADs through biodegradable construction. The collaboration of these companies is part of the actions for the sustainability of the FAD fishery in EPO areas. FADs built with biodegradable materials are expected to significantly minimize the negative impact on the marine environment, mainly in two ways: (i) reducing marine debris and consequently pollution in the ocean, and (ii) facilitating fishery management and management, as a consequence of changes in fishing strategies.