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HomeAfricaArtificial fish habitats along Somali coast to benefit coastal communities

Artificial fish habitats along Somali coast to benefit coastal communities

FAO, working with the European Union, has just completed the deployment of 25 “fish magnets” along Somalia’s 3,300-km coastline, a move that will boost the nation’s small-scale artisanal fisheries.The Fish-Aggregating Devices (FADs) consist of a floating buoy and “habitat mat” a few metres across. Plant life quickly grows under the mat, attracting large numbers of fish — in essence creating new high-density fishing grounds where none existed before. The 25 “fish magnets” will attract many different fish species, including tuna, that normally small-scale fishers cannot easily catch, making fishing more safe and efficient, while also encouraging fishers to switch their fishing efforts away from habitats such as coral reefs and sea grasses that are vulnerable to overfishing.The effort has been funded by the governments of Japan and Switzerland, while the European Union Naval Forces (EUNAVFOR) – which has a regional role in combatting piracy and monitoring fisheries – has provided critical protection and logistical support for the vessel that deployed the FADs.

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