Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Are There Plenty of Fish in the Sea?

Are There Plenty of Fish in the Sea?

Pew Charitable Trusts

Fish aggregating devices, also knows as FADs, generally refer to artificial structures that are deployed in the ocean to attract schools of fish. FADs function as open-ocean "meeting points" with multiple species gathering underneath them.

 While FAD fishing can be an efficient method for catching large schools of tuna, industrial-scale FAD fisheries can have significant adverse impacts on tunas and other species. Since the late twentieth century, FAD use in the world’s oceans has soared due to the new technologies that have allowed for their widespread use by industrial-scale purse seine vessels targeting tuna.

Proliferating Use of Fish Aggregating Devices

 

Overall, information on FAD use is not widely available because information on their exact numbers and locations is considered proprietary by industrial fishing vessel operators and fleets. However, based on a synthesis of peer-reviewed literature on FADs, their widespread use has already had numerous adverse impacts, including:

  • Recruitment overfishing of skipjack tuna in the eastern Atlantic Ocean
  • Overfishing of bigeye tuna in the western and central Pacific Ocean, and potentially in the eastern Pacific
  • Decreased weight of tunas caught near FADs compared to tunas caught in freeschools
  • Increases over time in fish biomass under FADs
  • Reduced free-school abundance
  • Differences in fish sizes and ages compared to free-school caught tuna
  • Alterations in school movement patterns across the Pacific Ocean
  • Increased difficulty of properly assessing the status of individual tuna populations
  • High volumes of bycatch including sharks, sea turtles and juvenile tunas

Moreover, research suggests that networks of thousands of FADs could act as “ecological traps” for open-ocean species by altering their natural distribution patterns, habitat associations, migration and residence periods. Over time, the proliferation of FAD use may cause widespread alterations of these ecosystems.

Visit EcoWatch’s BIODIVERSITY and FOOD pages for more related news on these topics. 

GMC will begin producing an electric Hummer in 2021. GMC

General Motors is reintroducing the gas-guzzling, military-style vehicle known as The Hummer. This time, it's getting a green makeover as a zero-emissions, fully electric pickup truck, NPR reported.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield attends a hearing of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee reviewing coronavirus response efforts on Sept. 16, 2020 in Washington, DC. Andrew Harnik-Pool / Getty Images

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has altered its guidelines that define close contact between people while also releasing a study that showed the novel coronavirus is able to be transmitted in brief interactions, as STAT News reported.

Read More Show Less

Trending

We pet owners know how much you love your pooch. It's your best friend. It gives you pure happiness and comfort when you're together. But there are times that dogs can be very challenging, especially if they are suffering from a certain ailment. As a dog owner, all you want to do is ease whatever pain or discomfort your best friend is feeling.

Read More Show Less
A diabolical ironclad beetle. Heather Broccard-Bell / iStock / Getty Images Plus

The aptly named diabolical ironclad beetle (Phloeodes diabolicus) has an exoskeleton so strong, it can survive being pecked by birds and even run over by cars. When early entomologists tried to mount them as specimens, BBC News explained, that exoskeleton would snap or bend their pins.

Read More Show Less
Sun Cable hopes to start construction of the world's largest solar farm in 2023. Sun Cable
A large expanse of Australia's deserted Outback will house the world's largest solar farm and generate enough energy to export power to Singapore, as The Guardian reported.
Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch