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Foreign and Domestic Fishing Gear Polluting Local Waters

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AP Photo/Caleb Jones
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Poorly designed foreign and domestic fish aggregating devices (FADs), are polluting Hawaiʻi’s waters.

FADs help attract large migratory fishes.

Hawaiʻi’s program is strictly managed. The local FADs are large yellow metal buoys. They are designed to minimize entanglement and the possibility of drifting away.

FADs manufactured outside of Hawaiʻi often use bamboo, plastic piping, and mesh netting.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has seen an increase in private or fishing industry FADs from outside of Hawaiʻi.

"Many of them, in fact about half of the ones we found, have these sophisticated satellite tags. I believe these are used to track their locations so they can go and revisit them and get a fish off of them," said Christopher Teague, an Aquatic Biologist for the Division of Aquatic Resources at the DLNR.

"That provides us a useful tool in the future. We can take these GPS transponders off of drifting FADs that come from far-away fisheries, and find a way to repurpose them. We can place them on drifting FADs so that we can track them and be able to remove it," Teague said.

Large or hazardous marine debris can be reported by calling 1-833-4DA-NETS.

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