Recreational fishing opportunities boosted
The first of five trial fish attraction device (FADs) has been dropped into the ocean just off Dundee Beach to help enhance and expand recreational fishing opportunities in the Territory.
The FADs will help support the long-term fishing sustainability of key fishery resources, expand recreational fishing opportunities and enhance the Northern Territory as a tourism fishing destination.
The deployment of FADs is an important tool to help reduce the pressure on our ‘at risk’ reef fish by providing easier access to pelagic species that are less susceptible to the effects of barotrauma and are more suitable as catch and release targets.
In considering design and location of a network of FADs, specific attention was paid to shifting fishing pressure away from those reef species that are the vulnerable to overfishing.
Scientific evidence has shown golden snapper and black jewfish are being overfished and that the sustainability of several popular coastal reef fish species has come under threat in recent years. The idea of the FADs are to attract small bait fish which then attract bigger fish right up the food chain, creating fishing hot spots for pelagic species.
The trial FADs will be monitored to provide feedback on design and deployment locations, and reports from anglers about their experience fishing the FADs is welcome.
FADs are not designed as mooring devices; Mooring can result in anchors dragging or even worse, FADs breaking free and becoming lost. The effectiveness of a FAD is maximised when it is left in place for long periods of time.