FAD MANAGEMENT POLICY ISSF CM 3.7

FAD MANAGEMENT POLICY

(ISSF Conservation Measure 3.7)

 

ALBACORA, an environmentally responsible company, hereby publicly states that starting on January 1, 2023 ([1]), the following best practices for FAD management, identified in ISSF Technical Report 2019-11, “Recommended Best Practices for FAD management in Tropical Tuna Purse Seine Fisheries“, shall be implemented:

a) Comply with flag state and RFMO reporting requirements for fisheries statistics by set type.

We commit to:

  • Filling out completely and accurately the logbooks, including FAD logbook information, by set type required by the flag state and submitting them by electronic reporting to the required authority and/or tRFMO.
  • Maintaining, as has been the case since 2015, 100% observer coverage, even if not required by the tRFMO, on all fishing trips through the use of a combination of human observers and voluntary Electronic Monitoring (EM). For EM, best-practice minimum standards developed by ISSF, or those developed by the tRFMO, will be followed.

b) Voluntarily report additional FAD buoy data for use by RFMO science bodies.

We commit to:

  • Report FAD buoy daily position data to the scientific institution AZTI with a maximum time lag of 90 days, and request that these data be made available to the relevant RFMO for scientific purposes.
  • Provide FAD buoy echo-sounder acoustic biomass data to the scientific institution AZTI with a maximum time lag of 90 days, and request that these data be made available to the relevant RFMO for scientific purposes.

c) Support science-based limits on the overall number of FADs used per vessel and/or FAD sets made.

We commit to:

  • Abiding by the limit of active number of FADs adopted by tRFMOs.
  • Deploying only FADs with satellite tracking buoys.
  • Managing the activation and deactivation of buoys taking into account the corresponding tRFMO´s measures.
  • Abiding by the time area closure (including FAD area closures) established by the corresponding RFMO.

d) Use only non-entangling FADs to reduce ghost fishing.

We commit to:

  • Deploying only FADs that are completely less-entangling and starting January 1, 2024 deploying only non-entangling FADs (i.e., without any netting), even when is not a requirement of the tRFMO, according to the ISSF Guide for Non-Entangling FADs.
  • Not deploying any “high entanglement risk” FAD according to the ISSF Guide for Non-Entangling FADs (i.e., those using large open netting either in the raft or in the underneath part of the FADs: >2.5 inches or 7 cm mesh).
  • Removing from the water and modifying the design of “high entanglement risk“ FADs according to the ISSF Guide for Non-Entangling FADs that are reused by the fleet, to make them less or non-entangling as per the ISSF classification.

e) Mitigate other environmental impacts due to FAD loss including through the use of biodegradable FADs and FAD recovery policies

We commit to:

  • Studying the feasibility of using FADs with only biodegradable material in their construction except the floatation structure of the raft.
  • Participating in tests of locally-sourced biodegradable materials in collaboration with AZTI, ISSF or any other scientific institution.
  • Studying the feasibility of deploying simpler and smaller FADs.
  • Participating in trials of biodegradable FAD designs and tests with the participation of RFMO science bodies and/or CPCs or ISSF scientist.
  • Endorsing risk and feasibility research programs aimed to determine deployment areas that are highly likely to result in stranding, in countries where FAD recovery policies could be put in place.
  • Participating in cooperative efforts, such as the FAD-Watch in the Seychelles, to remove stranded FADs, in the case the fleet operates in the determined area(s).
  • Gradually replacing FAD components with biodegradable materials as soon as such are proven efficient.
  • Not disposing of any FAD component at sea, unless it is proven biodegradable: should a FAD be mended and/or any component replaced, the remainder material must be reused or disposed at port
  • Whenever possible, use supply vessels to recover FADs that might be in risk of sinking or stranding.
  • Promoting the use of bio-based material to make FADs.
  • Promoting a definition of BIODEGRABLE materials applicable to marine environment.

f) For silky sharks (the main bycatch issue in FAD sets) implement further mitigation efforts.

We commit to:

  • Applying Best Practices for safe handling and release of sharks and rays brought onboard.
  • Participating/supporting studies to evaluate the contribution of purse seine fisheries to catches of silky sharks, and the impact of implementation of the Good Practices on post-release survival.
  • Participating in projects aiming to develop and test new tools to release sharks and mobulids in tuna purse seiners, that maximize their survival and are practical to use onboard.

 

This policy was adopted on 1 December, 2022.

[1] Original 3.7 Policy entered into force June 30, 2021.

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