Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) are an extension of fishing gear designed to concentrate fish into a small area so that it is easier to catch them. They can be used for industrial as well as artisanal fishing. Close to the islands of Tuvalu, the Fisheries Department has been deploying FADs to assist local fishers to gain access to tunas, and minimise their travel costs (boat fuel and time). FADs also improve sea safety by reducing the need to fish far away and encouraging fishers to fish at least some of the time in a ‘known’ place.
To deploy and maintain FADs, fisheries staff and fishers need training. Master fishermen William Sokimi from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) conducted training on FADs with fisheries staff and some of the fishermen from the Funafuti Fishermen Association between 1st and 5th of August 2016. The purpose of the training was to teach fisheries staff and fishermen on how to make FADs and also how to deploy FADs through using barge boats.
At the end of the training they deployed 3 FADs, one is 1200 meters deep at the north of Funafuti, the second FAD was deployed outside of Mateika (Funafuti Islet) which is 1100 meters deep and the last one was deployed in the lagoon which is 40+ meters deep.