[Coral-List] FADs danger for coral reefs
pnelson at cfr-west.org
Mon Sep 21 11:32:19 EDT 2015
Dear folks…I’ve tried to cut and paste here to limit the thread (from the digest I receive) to the topic.
With regard to Guillermo’s post about anchored FADs in Indonesia, I’m interested in your thoughts on the following: Colleagues and I have been working with some of the remote outer island communities in Micronesia to address declines in subsistence fisheries, mostly on coral reefs and lagoons, as well as reef degradation. In order to reduce the pressure on these fish populations (and the corals, often, too), we’re interested in facilitating the use of nearshore, anchored FADs.
Our rationale is that the reef fish populations need some kind of respite from the pressure they receive currently, that the FADs would draw fish from larger and geographically broadly distributed pelagic populations, and that the use of anchored FADs would reduce fuel use (higher when you’re looking for roaming schools). Well-positioned FADs and predictable location for fish resources would also increase the opportunity to use traditional sailing canoes in addition to outboard motors.
These fisheries are >95% subsistence; very little seafood leaves these islands. We think that legacy effects from WW2 have impacted cultures generally and traditional fishing practices in particular with the result that current fisheries focus on a less biologically diverse array of fishes. Standard fishing techniques in common use total about 5, but more than 100 traditional techniques have been documented from these islands. And, on some islands, the human populations have increased substantially, mostly with the advent of “centralized” high schools (ie kids and family members leave distant islands and converge on a single island where the high school is located); this substantially increases the local need for seafood. It’s been extremely difficult to confirm this, but the available evidence suggests that there is very little poaching by foreign commercial fisheries. Nonetheless, there’s no question that, despite comparatively low human population densities and considerable areas of good quality reef habitat, fish populations have declined to the point at which food security is a serious issue for these islands. Most of these islands are small atolls and agricultural production is low with no easy means to increase this.
Our hope is that anchored FADs, in conjunction with a number of other management strategies, could help restore reefs and reef fish populations with minimal impacts on highly migratory, pelagic fish stocks. I’d be very interested in your take on this.
Peter A. Nelson, Ph.D.
Collaborative Fisheries Research West
> On Sep 21, 2015, at 3:51 AM, coral-list-request at coral.aoml.noaa.gov wrote:
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On Sep 21, 2015, at 7:03 AM, Steve Palumbi <spalumbi at stanford.edu> wrote:
Thanks Peter for this time line of killer robot development. Economically, these devices make it feasible to fish ever at very low fish densities. Once the robot is paid for, it is economic for it to operate even as fish stocks are driven downward. And as you point out, small scale fishermen operating just offshore can’t afford these. They’ll be affected by the declines in fish stocks and, unlike the robots, there is a fish abundance that is too low for them to afford to operate.
Stephen R. Palumbi
Harold A Miller Director, Hopkins Marine Station
Jane and Marshall Steel Professor of Biology
> Message: 1
> Date: Sun, 20 Sep 2015 10:36:19 +0800
> From: Guillermo Moreno <guillermo_moreno at hotmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [Coral-List] FADs danger for coral reefs (Steve Palumbi)
> To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
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> Hello Steve and Sarah:
> FADs are a huge issue and in the Indian Ocean the Spanish and French fleets use these sonars or whatever they are to decide where to fish. I live and work in Indonesia and the issue here is anchored FADs. They are all over the place and they concentrate small along with large tuna. I have been working with the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission and I believe the total catch of undersized fish is well above the 70% by number and weight. The sizes are quite ridiculous and I have plenty documentation showing yellowfin tuna around 17-20 cm FL being caught with the use of the FADs. It is very scary as Indonesia catches around a quarter of all the tuna catch in the IO. Anyway, just a heads up about another type of FAD that is causing havoc with tuna fisheries.
> Guillermo Moreno PhD
>> On 20 Sep, 2015, at 12:00 am, coral-list-request at coral.aoml.noaa.gov wrote:
>> Today's Topics:
>> 1. Re: FADs danger for coral reefs (Steve Palumbi)
>> 2. Re: Responding to Coral Bleaching (Dennis Hubbard)
>> Message: 1
>> Date: Fri, 18 Sep 2015 13:24:10 -0400
>> From: Steve Palumbi <spalumbi at stanford.edu>
>> Subject: Re: [Coral-List] FADs danger for coral reefs
>> To: Sarah Frias-Torres <sfrias_torres at hotmail.com>
>> Cc: coral list <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
>> Message-ID: <0B6374DF-B268-475F-AE77-63E2C40FE90E at stanford.edu>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8
>> Hi Sarah, thanks for this alert. Last year we filmed a 2 minute video on type of FAD that phones the nearest fishing boat and gets the boat to come and scoop up the fish when the FAD detects there are enough around. We call these Robot Fish Killers and they will help eliminate both fish and small scale fishermen from the oceans. It is in The Extreme Life of the Sea, but I just popped it onto YouTube in case others wanted to see it.
>> https://youtu.be/9eV2UOZ180s <https://youtu.be/9eV2UOZ180s>
>> I?m curious about how often others see these kinds of machines. And how long they have been floating gout there.
>> Stephen R. Palumbi
>> Harold A Miller Director, Hopkins Marine Station
>> Jane and Marshall Steel Professor of Biology
>> Stanford University
>>> On Sep 18, 2015, at 2:26 AM, Sarah Frias-Torres <sfrias_torres at hotmail.com> wrote:
>>> Here's an interesting article showing the danger to coral reefs caused by the massive use of FADs (Fish Aggregating Devices) in the tuna fishing industry. The author calls them Floating Atoll Destroyers, and they are a major issue in the outer islands of Seychelles, Indian Ocean.
>>> We had one of those FADs drifting into Cousin Island, in the inner Seychelles (granitic islands). We used the tuna net to build net nurseries to grow coral. So we turned derelict fishing gear into a source of new life. Unfortunately, not all FADs have such benign ends.
>>> More details herehttp://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/fishing-fads-floating-atoll-destroyers/blog/54112/?fb_action_ids=685883004846411&fb_action_types=og.likes
>>> Sarah Frias-Torres, Ph.D. Twitter: @GrouperDocBlog: http://grouperluna.wordpress.comhttp://independent.academia.edu/SarahFriasTorres
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