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Fish aggregating devices

Fisheries 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, 10 FADs have been deployed off South East Queensland, from Double Island Point to the Gold Coast. These locations were identified through consultation with stakeholders (taking into consideration environmental, shipping channel and commercial fishing locations).

Additional FADs are also being considered for South East Queensland and other parts of Queensland. These locations will be determined based on outcomes of the initial South East Queensland FAD deployment. To provide suggestions on future FAD locations, email fads@daf.qld.gov.au 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 and mackerel.

Mahi mahi are the most common fish species caught around FADs – monitoring indicates that they represent 95% of the catch around New South Wales FADs. Mahi mahi are a migratory pelagic species with a worldwide distribution but are most common in tropical temperate waters over 20°C.

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 fads@daf.qld.gov.au 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 fishing aggregating devices
  3. Find a fish aggregating device

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