Fish aggregating devices

Safe use of fish aggregating devices

Code of conduct for FAD fishing

Fish aggregating devices (FADs) are for the benefit and enjoyment of all fishing sectors, so make sure you follow the code of conduct:

  • RESPECT other FAD users at all times.
  • Be courteous to fishers who are already using the FAD.
  • FAD users should take turns fishing the FAD and accommodate new arrivals.
  • Spearfishers should be aware of other FAD users and should not enter the water if other boats are around the FAD. Likewise, anglers should wait until spearfishers have completed their drift past the FAD before deploying lines (spearfishers usually only spend a short time around FADs).
  • Spearfishers should always tow a float displaying the ‘Divers Flag A’.
  • A safety boat, with the operator acting as a lookout, should accompany spearfishers at all times.
  • All fishers should keep boats, lines and lures a safe distance from the FAD, spearfishers and other boats at all times.
  • Do not tie your boat up to the FADs. This may damage the mooring line of the FAD, causing the device to break free and become lost (fines of up to $5,338 apply).
  • Limit your catch – don’t catch your limit and only take what you need.

Drift fishing and trolling are the most effective techniques for line fishing around FADs; however, avoid using sinkers.

The subsurface FADs are not visible from the surface, so use the GPS coordinates and locate the fish in the area with an echosounder.

Boating safety

Some FADs are situated long distances from shore, so please make sure your boat is suitable for offshore fishing and you have all the correct safety equipment required by law. Find out what safety equipment you need at Maritime Safety Queensland.

Also, make sure conditions are suitable for boating before heading offshore. Check the current marine weather forecast at the Bureau of Meteorology.

No mooring

FADs are not designed as mooring devices – NO MOORING is allowed. Fines of up to $5,338 apply.

FADs work most effectively when they are left in place for long periods of time. Tying your boat to a FAD can result in the anchors dragging or the FAD breaking free and becoming lost. Every time a FAD is lost, a productive fishing location is also lost.

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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