Fish aggregating devices

Fish aggregating device

Fish aggregating devices (FADs) are human-made structures anchored offshore that attract fish, making them easier to catch so you can have a great fishing experience.

To start with, 25 FADs were deployed off South East Queensland, from Fraser Island to the Gold Coast. These FADs have been popular with fishers, with great catches of mahi mahi reported.

As part of the next stage of the program, four FADs have been deployed off Weipa. Additional FADs are also being considered for South East Queensland and other parts of Queensland. To provide suggestions on future FAD locations, email or call 13 25 23.

Fish attracted to FADs

Most fish attracted to the FADs are seasonal pelagic fish, which travel in the warm water delivered by the East Australian Current – making it easier to catch species like mahi mahi, wahoo, tuna, cobia, mackerel and billfish.

Mahi mahi are the perfect sport fish:

  • They have a remarkable growth rate, known to grow as fast as 7cm in a week.
  • Adult fish can grow to almost 200cm (weighing up to 40kg).
  • They can be sexually mature as early as 6 months of age and reproduce at a high rate.
  • They are relatively short-lived – they rarely live past 2 years of age.

Safety around FADs

Find out how to fish safely around FADs.
To report a lost or damaged FAD, email or call 13 25 23.

Monitoring programs

You can help monitor fish numbers around the FADs:

  • provide your catch details to Fisheries Queensland boat ramp survey staff
  • tag pelagic fish caught near FADs (find out how to get involved in the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries Game Fish Tagging Program).

FADs are also fitted with acoustic receivers that detect and track acoustic-tagged animals. They form part of the Integrated Marine Observing System national receiver network for animal tracking around Australia.

Fish aggregating devices

In this guide:

  1. How fish aggregating devices work
  2. Safe use of fish aggregating devices
  3. Find a fish aggregating device

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