Request for participation in FAO survey on marking & tracking dFADs / by Francisco Blaha

When I was a fisherman (and even today) I complained complain that rules and management policies were not designed to be user-friendly and in some cases impossible to follow. A classic line is: "Obviously the people behind this, have no idea of what does really happens on board". So if this rings a bell, here is your chance to help make better management tools by completing a short survey, so you don't have to complain later!

 FADs in the making

FADs in the making

My colleague Dr Eric Gilman, on behalf of my former employer FAO, is conducting yjos survey to obtain comments to improve a section of FAO’s Draft Guidelines on the Marking of Fishing Gear on marking artificial drifting Fish Aggregating Devices (dFADs) used by purse seine tuna fisheries, to identify ownership and track position. The survey also collects views on measures adopted by the tuna RFMOs on FAD marking and tracking.

The survey results will be published as a FAO Fisheries Circular, which will be presented to the participants of the FAO Gear Marking Technical Consultation in Feb. 2018 in order to improve the guidelines on marking and tracking FADs.  

WCPFC, IATTC and IOTC secretariats have distributed circulars to their commissioners requesting their support (e.g., see 

More information on the project, including the survey form (available in English, Spanish, French, and traditional and simplified Chinese), is available online at

Eric's work would be as good as the quality of the data he collects, so if you have dealt with drifting FADs at any stage of your career, provide a few minutes of your time for a better-managed fishery. 

Eric is with the Pelagic Ecosystems Research Group of the College of Natural Sciences at Hawaii Pacific University