Volume 72

The Impact of Moored Fish Aggregation Devices (FAD) on the Artisanal Marine Fishery in Southeast Haiti

Vallès, H; W.Romain; L. Mérisier
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Date: November, 2019

Pages: 116-118

Event: Proceedings of the Seventy-Two Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Punta Cana

Country: Dominican Republic


The use of moored Fish Aggregating Devices (FAD) by artisanal fishers has rapidly increased since the 1990s in the Caribbean. Here, we provide (for the first time) quantitative data on the incipient moored FAD fishery in Haiti. Between 2007 and 2014, field surveyors regularly monitored fishing trips by artisanal fishers - who benefited from a government project aimed at developing the FAD fishery - at twelve landing sites spanning 150 km of coastline in Southeast Haiti. Monitoring allowed distinguishing between FAD fishing versus traditional coastal fishing. Data on >1,000 FAD and >3,200 coastal fishing trips were collected. FAD fishing relied almost exclusively on donated fiberglass boats with outboard engines at all landing sites, whereas concurrent coastal fishing involved mainly privately-owned unmotorized wooden boats at most sites. Catches on FADs yielded unprecedented proportions of oceanic pelagic fishes such as large tunas and dolphinfish across all landing sites. Overall, landings and profits per trip were approximately three- and two-fold higher for FAD fishing than coastal fishing, respectively. However, this overall pattern masked considerable variability among landing sites with FAD fishing being less profitable than coastal fishing at some landing sites, due partly to high fuel consumption to get to the FADs. Overall, this study shows that, on a fishing trip basis, FAD fishing can be more profitable than traditional coastal fishing in Southeast Haiti by facilitating access to a relatively unexploited pelagic resource locally. However, the long-term profitability and sustainability of this fishery will require careful planning and monitoring

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