Quantcast

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. 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Natural Resources Defense Council

By Emily Deanne

Shower shoes? Check. Extra-long sheets? Yep. Energy efficiency checklist? No worries — we've got you covered there. If you're one of the nation's 12.1 million full-time undergraduate college students, you no doubt have a lot to keep in mind as you head off to school. If you're reading this, climate change is probably one of them, and with one-third of students choosing to live on campus, dorm life can have a big impact on the health of our planet. In fact, the annual energy use of one typical dormitory room can generate as much greenhouse gas pollution as the tailpipe emissions of a car driven more than 156,000 miles.

Read More Show Less
Kokia drynarioides, commonly known as Hawaiian tree cotton, is a critically endangered species of flowering plant that is endemic to the Big Island of Hawaii. David Eickhoff / Wikipedia

By Lorraine Chow

Kokia drynarioides is a small but significant flowering tree endemic to Hawaii's dry forests. Native Hawaiians used its large, scarlet flowers to make lei. Its sap was used as dye for ropes and nets. Its bark was used medicinally to treat thrush.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Frederick Bass / Getty Images

States that invest heavily in renewable energy will generate billions of dollars in health benefits in the next decade instead of spending billions to take care of people getting sick from air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, according to a new study from MIT and reported on by The Verge.

Read More Show Less
Aerial view of lava flows from the eruption of volcano Kilauea on Hawaii, May 2018. Frizi / iStock / Getty Images

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.

Read More Show Less
A couple works in their organic garden. kupicoo / E+ / Getty Images

By Kristin Ohlson

From where I stand inside the South Dakota cornfield I was visiting with entomologist and former USDA scientist Jonathan Lundgren, all the human-inflicted traumas to Earth seem far away. It isn't just that the corn is as high as an elephant's eye — are people singing that song again? — but that the field burgeons and buzzes and chirps with all sorts of other life, too.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A competitor in action during the Drambuie World Ice Golf Championships in Uummannaq, Greenland on April 9, 2001. Michael Steele / Allsport / Getty Images

Greenland is open for business, but it's not for sale, Greenland's foreign minister Ane Lone Bagger told Reuters after hearing that President Donald Trump asked his advisers about the feasibility of buying the world's largest island.

Read More Show Less
AFP / Getty Images / S. Platt

Humanity faced its hottest month in at least 140 years in July, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Thursday. The finding confirms similar analysis provided by its EU counterparts.

Read More Show Less
Newly established oil palm plantation in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay

By Hans Nicholas Jong

Indonesia's president has made permanent a temporary moratorium on forest-clearing permits for plantations and logging.

It's a policy the government says has proven effective in curtailing deforestation, but whose apparent gains have been criticized by environmental activists as mere "propaganda."

Read More Show Less