The Bureau of Marine Resources (BMR), in partnership with the fishermen and state of Aimeliik, has deployed a new Fish Aggregating Device (FAD) in the waters off of Aimeliik State. The new deployment is in accordance with the FAD Strategic Plan, which lays out the foundations for a network of FAD buoys throughout Palau, and the Tuna Action Plan, which outlines work that must be done in order to support a thriving local offshore fishery. With the implementation of the Palau National Marine Sanctuary (PNMS), there are renewed efforts to realize the full potential of Palau’s pelagic resources. The anchored Fish Aggregating Device (aFAD) is located at coordinates E 134 20.398, N 7 33.124.
FADs, which are made up of a set of buoys attached to an anchored block on the bottom of the ocean, act as magnets for pelagic fish out in the open ocean. Deploying a network of FADs which fishermen can easily locate means that less gas is spent searching for fish, and money is saved. A network of FADs is one of the most crucial steps in ensuring that interested local fishermen can transition to pelagic fishing more easily.
The deployment was possible with the support of Koror State Public Works, which provided the crane equipment to load the heavy anchors for the FAD onto the deploying barge. Funding for the deployment including the vessel charter, the Peleliu Star, was made possible through the Bureau of Marine Resources.
The Palau International Coral Reef Center, as the current administrator and head of outreach and science monitoring of the PNMS, is dedicated to providing up-to-date information regarding the PNMS and the work which is ongoing, such as FAD deployments. For information regarding the Aimeliik FAD, please contact Lalou Solang at the Bureau of Marine Resources at 488-3125.