An overview of the FADs fishery in the Mediterranean Sea

The Mediterranean small-scale fleet is highly adaptive, showing a dynamic fishing intensity and strategy, and exploiting seasonal abundant resources. In this area, the aggregatory behaviour under floats of juvenile fish has been used since ancient times to exploit oceanic migratory species such as dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus), using Fish Aggregating anchored Devices (fads). A total of 2 300 boats are engaged in this fishery from August to December, the main fishing areas being those around Malta, Tunisia, Sicily and Majorca. The fads ( arrow right m2) are made of different cheap floating materials, and are moored in fixed places, ranging from shore waters to areas 60 miles off the coast (1 500 m depth). Each boat deploys an average of 20 to 100 fads. The gears used are special surrounding nets without purse line, and traditional purse seine nets. The fishery exploits young-of-the-year dolphinfish (<6 months old), originated by a pre-spawning migration of adults from Atlantic waters. Their catches show high annual and monthly variability, depending on the recruitment and the accessibility of recruits to the fishery. Pilotfish (Naucrates ductor) and greater amberjack (Seriola dumerili) are also exploited in this fishery as by-catch. A total of about 1 000 metric tons of dolphinfish are yearly caught mainly in September-October. The fads are historically laid in August. Recently, the fads fishing period has increased in Sicily, and the fads are laid in July, so as to catch pilotfish and greater amberjak juveniles. In recent years, the interest for this fishing method and the study of these fisheries has increased in the Mediterranean. Though the market and its seasonality limit this exploitation, this fishery is economically profitable with good revenue.


Artisanal fishing, Attracting techniques, Fishery development, Tuna fisheries, Coryphaena hippurus, Naucrates ductor, Seriola dumerili, Article Geographic Terms: MED

Full Text

24738 Ko
How to cite
Morales-Nin B, Cannizzaro L, Massuti E, Potoschi A, Andaloro F (2000). An overview of the FADs fishery in the Mediterranean Sea. Pêche thonière et dispositifs de concentration de poissons, Caribbean-Martinique, 15-19 Oct 1999 15-19 octobre 1999.

Copy this text