Sobre el Programa
The Puerto Rico FAD system began in June 2015 with the first deployments of surface FADs off of San Juan, Puerto Rico, off the northeast coast of the island. During the first three years of the program, a total of 16 surface FADs were deployed from Fajardo in the east to Manati in the west. While the surface FADs worked well to attract pelagic fish, the FADs suffered losses due to shipstrikes and storms. Last February, our fisheries research foundation known as the Beyond Our Shores Foundation, received funding from Puerto Rico’s Department of Natural and Environmental Resources to re-initiate the PR FAD system along the north coast of Puerto Rico. This time, we deployed submerged fish aggregating devices, where the top buoy would be positioned below the surface of the water and would range anywhere from 30’ to 60’ below the surface. Working with vessel Family Ties, to lead FAD site surveying, FAD construction, and deployment, we deployed submerged FADs off Arecibo and El Morro last October. Recently, we deployed two more submerged FADs; one is off of Fajardo and another is off of San Juan called Camino Del Mar.
Along with these recent deployments, we have reinitiated our FAD and FAD fishery research to build and expand upon our original research objectives that our group focused on during the earlier years of the PR FAD system, which are to better describe fish movements relative to the FADs, fishing trip success and catch and effort, how FAD design can affect species abundance and biomass, and the impact that FADs have on local businesses and visitors to Puerto Rico. One important aspect we learned from our earlier work was that with the deployment of FADs brings the opportunity to engage anglers in our research. Thus, if you would like to get involved in our research, whether it be by tagging and releasing small juvenile fish at the FADs, or providing fishing reports when you visit the FADs, or learning how your business is impacted by the presence of the FADs, please contact us. Working together, we can guide best practices in fish aggregating device construction, placement, and integration of anglers into fishing and research opportunities in the pelagic environment to ensure a sustainable FAD fishery into the future.