The government of Maldives has started replacing lost fish aggregation devices (FADs) across the country.
FADs, which are tethered to the ocean floor in the open ocean with concrete blocks, are used by the pole and line fisheries industry to attract tuna. Moored FADs stay at a fixed occupation with a buoy floating at the surface, and can last upto 3-4 years.
At least 8 different fish FADs have gotten untethered and lost at sea, according to local councils reports to Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture.
The missing FADs were located near Ha. Filladhoo, Sh. Komandhoo, Lh. Gaadhoo, K. Kaashidhoo, K. Maafushi, AA. Ukulhas, and Th. Hirilandhoo.
A Fisheries Ministry’s team working on replacing the five FADs in north Maldives from Ha. Filladhoo to Aa. Ukulhas have started travelling between the atolls.
So far, the team has replaced FADs outside K. Maafushi, Lh. Faadhoo, and even introduced one nearby Male’, the Ministry reported Thursday.
Technical experts from the Ministry are also preparing to replace the other three FADs.
One possible reason for FAD loss might be due to heavy vessels anchoring on the FAD line, the Fisheries Ministry noted. The Ministry also advised fishermen to discontinue this practice.