Why are FADs such a fad in the Pacific Islands?

reefThe Pacific has seen several advantages to using FADs, which has lead to a boom in production and usage. Fishing offshore for Tuna which had until FADs had not been possible due to the risk of returning empty handed, is now commonplace. The reason this is so good for these smaller islands is that before these FADs, the fishermen would usually fish inshore and on the reefs which lead to a damaged reef ecosystem.

The reefs are often one of the major attractions to the Pacific Islands so ensuring their safety is paramount. It becomes a virtuous cycle, as restaurants, resorts and hotels all shift to serving Tuna and so there is a constant demand. More money brought in from these tourists can lead to support industries being set up such as smoked Tuna or Tuna jerky which the island can then use as on of its strengths to help build its image.

In addition, tourists of the sport fishing variety are ready to splash the cash to reel in the biggest prize, the Marlin fish which is also more common around FADs, as well as Tuna and Dolphinfish. This can then become a veritable industry in its own right and to give an example, in Hawaii during the international game fishing tournaments, they brought in an average of $40,000 for every Marlin that was caught.

This information was gathered from the following report: Pacific Islands Region FAD Issues and Priorities Workshop by NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands Regional Office

 

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