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FADs experiment ongoing in Loc Binh
In response to the request from Loc Binh 1 and 2 FAs, IMOLA has been implementing the experimental installation of Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) in spawning and nursing grounds in Loc Binh.
The spawning and nursing grounds consist of three shallow water areas of 61 ha in the commune. The fishing activities in these conservation areas is restricted to a certain season (May to October on lunar calendar) and to certain fishing gears to minimize the impacts on the grounds. However, two FAs have been facing problems of encroachment and unauthorized fishing to these restricted areas despite the patrolling efforts of the FAs.
In response to these problems, and to provide better habitats for lagoon fishes, the FAs in Loc Binh came up with the idea of installing FADs in the spawning and nursing grounds. Although the primary purpose of FAD installation is to promote fish reproduction in the lagoon, controlled harvest (with limited frequency, season, mesh size, and harvestable fish size) are currently allowed with FADs to generate operational funds for FAs for the maintenance of spawning and nursing grounds.
As this installation in Loc Binh is experimental, IMOLA is monitoring water quality and fish availability in and around the FADs to assess the environmental impacts of the FADs in conservation areas.
The first harvesting with FADs was finished in May and June, with the recording of the harvested fish to generate management recommendation for the FAs. Training for FAs is an integral part of this experiment.