This conference aims to take stock of the exploitation of large pelagic fish using anchored and drifting FADs in the world.
28 Nov-2 Dec 2011 Arue (French Polynesia)

Symposium Objectives

Since ancient times, fishers have known about the natural tendency of pelagic fish, such as tuna, dolphin fish, sharks, marlins, etc., to gather around floating objects offshore. Technical progress in terms of making large nets after the mid-twentieth century made it possible to use this aggregating phenomenon on a larger scale around floating objects, first along coasts (Philippines, Indonesia) and then further out in the open ocean. It is currently estimated that 40% of worldwide tropical tuna catches (albacore, skipjack tuna, bigeye tuna) take place under these floating objects, commonly known by the initials FAD, i.e. Fish Aggregating Devices.


This tendency of large pelagics to aggregate has been used at two very different scales:

  • In coastal zones, by local fishers who moor FADS on bottoms with depths of 50 to 2500 metres to encourage tuna to gather in specific areas known to fishers for daily fishing expeditions. In such cases, FADs can be considered effective small-scale fisheries management tools, which make it possible to transfer fishing pressure away from the coasts towards the open ocean, thereby favouring the harvest of species (pelagics) that are less sensitive at that scale.
  • Out to sea, in the open ocean, by tuna purse seiners that use drifting FADs equipped with electronic location emitters, which allow large-scale tuna harvest operations. Given the catch volume they generate around the world in three oceans, massive use of drifting FADs should be subject to in-depth studies so as to better assess the potential impacts of this fishing technique in terms of the risks of overfishing and disturbing the balance of the ecosystems involved (the “ecological trap” hypothesis).

So, by pooling experience internationally, the Symposium will serve four main objectives:


1.      Sharing knowledge to allow consistent and controlled development of moored FADs for the benefit of small-scale tropical island fisheries,

2.      Gaining a better understanding and measurement of the risks brought about by the massive use of drifting FADs, at a large scale, by tuna purse seiner fleets.

3.      Whatever the type of FAD, moored or drifting, better defining and implementing fishing techniques designed to avoid by-catch and accidental capture of sensitive marine species such as marine mammals, turtles and sharks,

4. Better understand why fish aggregate around floating objects and what are the consequences of the deployment of FADs on the ecology of species.

Technical platform

Information about the technology platform

International Symposium «Tuna fisheries and FADs»

Tahiti, November 28 to December 2, 2011

The main objective of the International Symposium "Tuna Fisheries and Fish Aggregating Devices", November 2011, in Tahiti, is to review the status of the exploitation of large pelagic fish species around FADs, on the basis of a regional synthesis for the three main oceans and the Mediterranean Sea. FAD technology, fishing methods used around FADs, impact on marine resources, biology of fish aggregation and the socio-economic impacts of FAD programs, will be the main topics covered at the Symposium. This conference will gather scientists, managers involved in the development of FAD projects and Fishermen.

A technical platform will be specifically organized in collaboration with the business cluster "Tahiti Fa'ahotu" for suppliers of equipment and technology related to this activity in order to present new products or services.

Interested companies can benefit from a dedicated area within close proximity of the conference room, allowing privileged contacts with all participants. A special session " technology platform " will also be held in the evening, during the conference week. 

If you wish to attend the technical platform, thank you to return the special form to the following address: 


This technology platform can only accommodate a limited number of companies, thank you for sending your registration form "Company" as soon as possible with your commitment to participate.



Instructions to authors

The outcomes of the conference «Tuna Fisheries and FADs – Tahiti 2011 » will be released in several forms:

-          A DVD  with all the PowerPoint presentations;

-          A compendium of the abstracts – this will be available before the conference;

-          The conference proceedings which will include most of the written contributions;

-          A special issue of the scientific journal “Aquatic Living Resources” which will include about 10 of the most scientifically interesting papers.

PowerPoint presentations as well as written contributions (full papers) will be given in electronic form (memo stick or DVD) to the conference secretariat before the opening ceremony at the Radisson Hotel (between 5pm, November 27, and 8am, November 28). Two hard copies of written contributions (full papers) should also provided to the conference secretariat.

All conference papers submitted, for publication in either the conference proceedings or the special issue of the scientific journal “Aquatic Living Resources” (ALR), need to conform with the following requirements: download

Session schedule

Session 1 – Artisanal Fisheries and moored FADs programs

Session 2 – Industrial fisheries on moored and drifting FADs

Session 3 – Understanding the phenomenon of aggregation

Session 4 – Ecosystem impacts of FADs

Session 5 – Socio-economic impacts of FADs

Session 6 – Posters

Committee membership

Steering committee                       Scientific Committee

Michel Blanc                                      Michel Blanc

Priscille Frogier                                 Laurent Dagorn

Loïc Gourmelen                                 Jean-Claude Gaertner

Pierre Mery                                        Paul Gervain

Christian Moretti                                Olivier Guyader

Bruno Peaucellier                               Martin Hall

Tiare Penilla Y Perella                        Kim Holland

Mainui Tanetoa                                   David Itano

Marc Taquet                                       Beatriz Morales-Nin

Bruno Ugolini                                      Lionel Reynal

Stephen Yen Kai Sun                           Marc Taquet

Hélène Gueguen                                  Alain Fonteneau

René Galzin


This symposium is co-organized by Ifremer (French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea) and the Fisheries Department.


Fisheries department

SPC Noumea

Tahiti Faahotu

Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD)

website :

International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF)

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