Volume 66

Does FAD Deployment have a Real Effect on Fishing Redeployment Towards Offshore Resources?

Mathieu, H., L. Reynal, A. Magloire, and O. Guyader
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Date: November, 2013

Pages: 511 – 517

Event: Proceedings of the Sixty six Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Corpus Christy

Country: USA


Since 1960, Caribbean region has sort to develop the fishing of potential of large pelagic species in offshore waters especially to reduce the excessive use of insular shelves. At that time, Fish Aggregating Device (FAD) was perceived as a suitable mode to exploit those resources. This paper attempts to answer this question: “Was FAD development able to redeploy the fishing activity towards offshore resources and at the same time reduce the effort on coastal resources?” In order to answer that question, the fishing development around FAD is compared among three islands namely Guadeloupe, Dominica and Martinique. It shows that in Guadeloupe and in Martinique 300 vessels operate around FAD, representing 39 and 33% of the active vessels, respectively, while 59 and 61% of professional fishermen are using fish pots respectively. In Dominica, 45% of the vessels operate around FAD and only 15% are using fish pots. The results indicate a greater utilization of the insular shelf resources in Martinique and Guadeloupe as compared to Dominica. However, the extent of the difference cannot be explained on the basis of the width of the insular shelf. Observations indicate that as soon as the carrying capacity of the FAD fishery is approached, a parallel increase in insular shelve fishery activity is realized in Martinique. Three reasons are given by fishermen and discussed here, to explain this progression: i) Market saturation in pelagic products (because of the high supply of pelagic species, it is difficult to sell this product at a good price), ii) Irregularity of the FAD fishing (seasonality of catches because of pelagic migration and FAD submersion due to strong seasonal currents), and iii) Increase of fuel price. All these factors suggest that the development of FAD fishery without simultaneous implementation of regulations to reduce the effort on inshore fishing is an important consideration to effect a reduction on inshore fishery pressure. In other words, the promotion of FAD fishing by itself is not sufficient enough to reduce the effort on coastal resources.

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