Growing sustainability in FAD tuna fishing

Echebastar Fleet and Purse Seine Skipjack Tuna fishery

Amount awarded: £49,980

This project concentrates on improving practices that use Fish aggregating devices (FADs). 

FADs are a man-made objects used to attract open ocean fish such as tuna. A FAD typically consists of floating buoys used to attract predatory fish through the build-up of a mini-marine ecosystem. 

Derelict or lost drifting FADs can cause issues for vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) like coral reefs. Bycatch of species like silky sharks can also be an issue. 

The MSC certified Echebastar fishery targets skipjack tuna in the Indian Ocean. They want to better understand the impact of FADs on local species and help reduce unwanted impacts. This pilot project will tag released silky sharks and monitor bycatch.

With their partners AZTI, the fishery is already researching the design and construction of biodegradable FADs. Their findings may help accelerate the sustainability and certification of other IOTC (Indian Ocean Tuna Commission) fisheries. 

The project is also supporting the FAD Watch initiative, set up in the Seychelles to intercept lost FADs.


The funding is recognition of the contribution of the Echebastar work programme strengthening the sustainability credentials of the whole Indian Ocean purse sein tuna fishery. The funding will enable a more rigorous approach to addressing several important issues while providing a basis to identify where additional work may be required.

Jose Luis Jauregui Pesqueras Echebastar S.A.
Indonesian handline fisher

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