Owning a device set at sea does not mean that one owns the resources surrounding it. As a consequence, the funder of a FAD has two options: try to get an exclusive use of the space around their FAD, or demand that other users participate in the fees. The supervision or absence of it of anchored FAD fishing activities may have consequences on individual appropriation of the marine space, the occurrence of conflicts, or the compliance with some regulations (signage…), on the multiplication of debris (bad conception of the FADs), on excess investments etc.
Those are thus interacting factors that may entail important consequences on the sustainable development of fishing activities that need be to controlled by developing knowledge and exchanges between stakeholders, so as to search for and implement adequate measures enabling the enhancement of anchored FAD fishing.
- Set objectives of development for FAD fishing and implement indicators enabling to assess whether said objectives were met
- Establish the conditions of access to FADs taking into account the local social, economic and environmental contexts. The solutions must consider notably:
- The interactions between the FADs which, as they were set too close from one another create imbalance between the aggregations of fish. The involvement of representative structures of professionals or communities of fisherfolk must be considered in order to ensure optimum use of the space available.
- Potential conflicts between fisherfolk generated by the use of incompatible devices (lines and nets…) or by de facto appropriation of the space around the FADs that is often linked to the mode of funding and maintenance of the devices (private individual or collective, public co-funding…)
- Better appropriation of the FADs by professionals so that they are encouraged to participate in the financing and maintenance of the devices.
- Promote and encourage new researchto enhance knowledge:
- About the relations between FAD fishing an the other types of fisheries exercised on other resources, as well as the potential negative consequences of those interactions
- About experiments on different managing systems (co-management, centralized management, etc.) and their impacts on the sustainable development of anchored FAD fishing, on fisherfolk’s livelihood, and on countries’ food safety, as well as on the social structure of fishing communities.
- Implement the appropriate means for a good circulation of information among institutions (scientific authorities of the sector, administrative bodies, etc.) and professionals. To do so, it is also recommended to develop new mediation tools intended for those in charge of training leaders to facilitate consultations and federate professionals around efficient projects centered on the sustainable development of fishing activities.
II) Main results
The works performed in the Caribbean region mainly addressed the following topics:
- Reorganization of the fishing effort towards large offshore pelagic fish to reduce the fishing pressure on overexploited coastal resources
- Settlement of the professionals within their EEZ
- Reduction of the seasonality of the fishing of offshore pelagic fish
- Increase fishing incomes and guarantee livelihood
- Preserve the highest level of employment possible thanks to the diversification of fisheries
- Increase production to guarantee countries’ food safety
- Encourage greater collaboration among fisherfolk thanks to the organization of fishing activities around the FAD as a collective tool
- Funding, which can be public, collective (group of fisherfolk) or individual
- The setting up of rules or legal frames and their means of implementation (control etc.). Namely:
- Regulation to ensure safety of navigation and authorization to set FADs
- FAD ownership and access to fish aggregations around them
- Regulation of fishing activities and management of conflicts
- The mechanisms to involve the stakeholders in the management of the FADs
- The resolution of conflicts generated by the use of the FADs set
- The evolution of the fleets, of their activities on the FAD in a context of small-scale fishing
- The polyvalence of the fishing units
- The structure of the operating costs of FADs and of other professions
- Measures to support the development of the industry (subsidies…)
- The socio-economic environment (training, role fisherfolk’s knowledge…)
V) Works to implement
The reflection of the Lesser Antilles working group about FADs also lead to underline:
1. The need to measure the impact of the systems of FAD management on the sustainable development of fisheries because of their consequences on:
- The capacity to build and maintain viable FADs
- The need to set FADs while complying with administrative regulations
- The rapidity of the development of anchored FAD fishing
- The sustainability of the FAD park
- The yield of fishing activities and specific composition of catches
- The management of conflicts and limitation of the interactions between FADs
- The impact on the resources and on the environment notably when the materials are left on the sea bottom
2. The need to endeavor to monitor and search for indicators on the fishing fleets including sports fishing and regarding:
- The evolution of FAD fisheries
- The socio-economic situation of such fisheries and their crew
- The valorization of products, markets and value chains
- FAD distribution and density
- The strategy of fisheries at different levels (investment, allocation of fishing effort among professions, spatiotemporal distribution of the fishing effort among FAD fisheries, etc.)
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