A fish aggregating device (FAD) has been placed off the village of Talise in Central Maewo to assist fishermen from the village and two other nearby villages – Narovorovo and Nasawa.
The FAD was placed with the assistance of the Department of Fisheries late last month when two of its officers – Andrew William, the Aquaculture Officer from Port Vila and the Extension Provincial Fisheries Officer for Penama, Malcolm Tambe.
During their week-long stay during which they assisted the people of Talise dig and complete two 15x8 metres ponds for farming prawns the two men also taught the men of the village how to rig a FAD after which they floated it one kilometre outside of Talise.
The raft is anchored onto a reef at a depth of 250 meters.
Aquaculture Officer Williams says the idea of placing the fish aggregating device off Talise is to help the people with a place to fish instead of going everywhere out to sea to find fish to catch to supplement their diet.
Additionally, reef fish in the area have become poisonous and many people suffer from ciguatera fish poisoning caused by eating fish eating from dead reefs caused by mud washed into the sea by floods. And this FAD will help them fish for deep sea species.
Wikipedia explains that a fish aggregating (or aggregation) device (FAD) is a man-made object used to attract ocean going pelagic fish such as marlin, tuna and mahi-mahi (dolphin fish). They usually consist of buoys or floats tethered to the ocean floor with concrete blocks. Over 300 species of fish gather around FADs.