Coastal Fisheries Programme

Vertical longlining and other methods of fishing around fish aggregating devices (FADs)
A manual for fishermen

by Garry Preston, Lindsay Chapman and Paul Mead

This manual provides the basic information that a fisherman will need in order to try vertical longlining. In providing this information, the authors recognise that the technique will need to be varied in response to the wide range of different fishing vessels and conditions in the Pacific Islands region. We have therefore tried to avoid being too prescriptive and giving specific recommendations. Instead, where there are a range of options we have tried to present all of these so that the fisherman can make up his own mind as to which suits him best.

Vertical longlining is not restricted to FADs, and should be productive anywhere where more traditional forms of tuna fishing, such as mid-water handlining or trolling, are successfully used to catch tunas and other oceanic fish types. These other fishing methods are also described briefly in this manual, in order to provide fishermen with a full set of background information on ways of catching tuna around FADs and elsewhere. Fish aggregating devices, or FADs, are floating rafts or buoys anchored in deep water which, for reasons not yet fully understood, cause tuna and other types of oceanic fish to gather around them.

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Table of contents

Chapter 1: Basic information and techniques

FAD basics, navigation, working with ropes and lines including knots, bait and the use of a sea anchor.

Chapter 2: Vertical longlining

Basic gear components and gear construction for vertical longlining, setting and hauling the gear using different methods, gear maintenance and larger operations.

Chapter 3: Other FAD-fishing methods

Materials and gear construction for other mid-water fishing techniques, such as drop-stone, palu-ahi, ika-shibi, trolling and bait fishing around FADs.



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