Taiwanese fisheries group FCF has entered the at-sea trial stage of the jelly FAD experiment in collaboration with The Pacific Community (SPC), which is the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) science service provider.
These non-entangling, biodegradable FADs have been developed by the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) and distributed to collaborating vessels for deployment, use in real fishing condition, monitoring and data collection.
The trials are expected to last for ten months to evaluate the performance and durability of these devices. Results of the research will be used to accelerate the development and use of ocean-friendly drifting FADs, aiming to reduce marine debris and mitigate the problem of marine animals’ entanglements in fishing gear.
The project was launched in September 2022, and the construction of the FADs was completed in February of this year ISSF.
With the exception of four purse seine floats and the echo sounder buoy, each Jelly FAD device is made entirely of biodegradable materials, with the stated aim of addressing problems of marine pollution, ghost fishing gear, the entanglement of marine organisms, by reducing the size and removing the netting.
FCF was also invited to the Jelly FAD workshop hosted by SPC and ISSF in the Federated Stated of Micronesia in December 2022 to learn more about the design principles of the device and participated in the construction process.
FCF has also actively provided assistance in at-sea trial by inviting long-standing supply chain partners to participate.
The data collected during the trial will be periodically evaluated and reviewed by the scientists at SPC and ISSF, and the final results will be reported and shared through papers or seminars with all relevant stakeholders, including WCPFC.
FCF hopes that this collaboration will bring a positive influence to accelerate the development of environmentally friendly drifting FADs, promote industry attention and investment in related issues.