FAD Inventory with Tuna Handline Fishermen at Oeba PPI
FADs or Fish Aggregating Devices may be unfamiliar to some people. But, for tuna fishermen around Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, the word rumpon or FADs is familiarly heard almost everyday. FADs are man-made floating objects, designed to encourage fish aggregation at the device and can be either floating or anchored. The materials used can vary, with attractors made of coconut leaves. Fishermen use FADs as a tool improve fishing efficiency. Therefore, rumpon or FADs have been part of their lives.
However, various studies reveal that the use of massive and dense FADs affects the natural schooling of fish, so that fish are collected in one place, and that there is potential for juvenile tuna and non-target species to be caught. Moreover, the installation of FADs that do not have permits and is placed irregularly can lead to horizontal conflicts between fishermen and disrupt sea shipping lanes.
Looking at the two sides that emerge from the use of FADs, management of FADs is one of the prerequisites for continuing to be used in carrying out sustainable fishing both economically, socially and ecologically. For this reason, various discussion forums have been carried out as an initial step in FADs management, such as the Data Management Committee meeting Tuna, Cakalang, Tongkol (TCT) VII East Nusa Tenggara Province which was initiated by MDPI together with Marine Affairs and Fisheries (DKP) East Nusa Tenggara Province and tuna business. The last meeting was the socialization of FADs arrangement conducted by MDPI and DKP East Nusa Tenggara Province on September 27, 2018, Kupang. The meeting resulted in an agreement in carrying out the initial action in the form of FAD inventory as a data base for better management of FADs.
Based on that reason, at the beginning of last October the MDPI field staff began conducting inventory of FADs. It is not easy to gather fishermen in one place in digging up FADs information. For this reason, we started visiting one by one tuna fishermen who were at the PPI Oeba (Fish Landing Base). With the form prepared by the East Nusa Tenggara DKP, field staff began to conduct interviews with tuna fishermen. The fishermen were happy in conveying information about FADs that they have for the needs of this inventory. They provided information about FADs coordinate points and the number of FADs they have.
Fishermen organizations, such as UD. Bara, UD Tunas Harapan and CV. Sanjaya Fleet were also very helpful in providing information. The results of the inventory we obtained that tuna fishermen based in the Oeba PPI had 41 FADs consisting of 10 owner groups from 36 vessels. Patong, a tuna hand line fisherman at the Oeba PPI, said “Collaboration between FADs is one of the mutual cooperation groups to be able to share the manufacturing costs, but the data on the FAD location should not be known by ships outside the group because fishing can occur in FADs”.
This practice can certainly be one of the principles for managing FADs in the future, where each ship does not need to have one or more FADs in private so that it can reduce the density of FADs at sea. Meanwhile, Asis, another fisherman, said “In order to get through this FADs inventory, there is a follow-up action from the government to legalize FADs they have through the issuance of SIPR (Rumpon Installation License), and their FADs are free of shipping lanes” said Asis.
Written by: Alief Darmawan