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Kaua’i Waters to Get Fish Aggregation Devices

Kaua‘i is set to receive new Fish Aggregation Devices when a state program receives its next round of federal funding.

FADs attract species including tuna, ono, mahimahi and types of billfish, to fishers’ benefit. Kaua‘i has two installed off its North and South Shores, respectively, but the island is missing another seven.

“Kaua‘i will be the first, next stop for replacing the FADs,” said researcher Kim Holland, of the Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology, on Wednesday. “We hope that’s going to happen before the end of the year.”

Kaua‘i will be allotted five new devices in the immediate future, with more planned.

The Hawai‘i FAD program, which totals 55 units when complete, has existed since 1980. It’s currently operated by HIMB, the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, the University of Hawai‘i and the Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources.

Many pelagic species associate with natural FADs in the open ocean, such as logs, seaweed, and coconuts. Man-made FADs are constructed from a variety of materials. Ropes and lines encourage the settlement of marine plants and small crustaceans and mollusks, which in turn attract small fish. Fish finders may be attached to a FAD allowing fishermen to electronically “connect” to the FAD and see how many and at what depth the fish are located. Animals near the FADs are then harvested with seines, hooks, or longlines. There are various types of FADs:

  • Static FADs are anchored to the seafloor.
  • Free-floating FADs are not anchored.

FADs are most effective at attracting adult predatory fish when deployed in water deeper than 400 meters (1300 feet).

FADs can be deployed in shallow nearshore waters accessible to artisanal fishermen.

Read the full story at The Garden Island

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