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Free Content Ten Years of Fish Aggregating Device (FAD) Design Development in Hawaii

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Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) were introduced in Hawaii in an attempt to increase sportfishing opportunities and revitalize the fishing industry by taking advantage of the “aggregating” behavior of pelagic fishes around floating objects. In 1980, the State of Hawaii's Department of Land and Natural Resources established a FAD system of 26 buoys around the main Hawaiian Islands. Since their introduction, FAD buoy and mooring system designs have undergone considerable technological changes. The Hawaii FAD System evolved from the use of foam-filled tire buoys, using one type of synthetic line to the present sphere buoy design with two types of line. The design changes were developed to create a buoy and mooring line system that would remain on station for a long time and enhance sportfishing opportunities. Today, Hawaii's 78 FADs make up a system, including 56 surface and 22 midwater buoys. The FADs have proven to be very popular among Hawaii's fishermen. Catch statistics show that the FADs have contributed to increased catches and historical data on FAD survival in the field show that design improvements have produced longer lasting FADs. Future developments in FAD systems point to a combination of surface and midwater FADs around the main Hawaiian Islands.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 1994

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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