Uncovering the Extent of Illegal FADs in the Mediterranean Sea for the Scientific Community
Friday, 28 Apr, 2023
For the first time, the true extent of illegal fish aggregating devices (FADs) in the Mediterranean Sea was presented to the scientific community at the 34th European Cetacean Society meeting.
Thanks to the data provided by the Sea Eagle and the Conrad, Sea Shepherd created a scientific poster presented at the most important international marine mammal meeting in Europe, held in Spain last week, where more than 600 scientists from all around the world gathered to talk and exchange knowledge about their respective area of study.
Sea Shepherd Italy analyzed the FAD data, which they had collected over the past two years, in order to showcase the alarming number of these devices found in the southern Tyrrhenian Sea, specifically within the SISO campaign area.
FADs are a serious threat to the marine megafauna, including highly-protected migrating cetaceans that can become entangled in the mooring lines. Additionally, these devices contribute to the growing problem of marine debris, as they are primarily made of plastic.
Tommaso De Lorenzi, former Sea Shepherd Italy communication manager and campaign veteran, co-authored the poster and represented Sea Shepherd’s efforts to combat illegal fishing in the Mediterranean Sea. Other co-authors include Andrea Morello, president of Sea Shepherd Italy, and scientists from the CIMA Foundation, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Anton Dhorn Zoologic Station.
This research marks just the beginning of the efforts to address this issue. The scientific community will continue to study the problem of FADs and develop innovative strategies to help us protect the ocean’s biodiversity more effectively.