Fish Aggregating Device

Fish Aggregating Device placed in offshore Ambergris Caye

Captain Shark’s worked closely with the San Pedro Game Fish
Association on June 29th to install a fish aggregating device (FAD).
The FAD was placed in the waters approximately two miles offshore from El
Pescador Resort on Ambergris Caye and anchored at a depth of about 2,400 feet.
The main reason for placing the FAD is to show tour guides and business of the
potential behind FADs so that local fishermen and tourists on local fishing
tours can fish closer to the island.
A FAD is a floating device tethered by
rope with buoys and anchored to the water bed with a drum of cement to keep
everything in place avoiding it from drifting. FADs are known to attract fish,
especially tuna and marlin. However other curious marine life such as sharks,
are also attracted to the floating device. The FAD that was installed was
anchored at a depth of about 2,400 feet with the use of 1 1/15 inch rope. Ten
buoys were also place on it also to attract other fish. The square shaping
floating device was built at Captain Shark’s boatyard and was constructed from
aluminum, fiberglass and plywood all anchored to a drum of cement at the seabed.
On top of the FAD is a solar led light that flashes every second at night to
avoid vessels from running over it. The FAD was installed at a cost of about
$16,000, which was paid by Captain Shark’s.
Currently fishermen use the old
means of finding tuna by following the birds attracted to floating weeds and
other drifting large devices. With the FAD, fishermen will be able to fish for
tuna and possibly marlin that get attracted by the floating device at the top of
the water. In addition, local tour operators who offer fishing tours will also
be able to benefit from the placement of FAD off Ambergris Caye.
I spoke
to a local fisherman and he told me that he has been fishing around the FAD
twice and noticed more tuna, not directly underneath the FAD but just about 200
to300 feet away. That is exactly how the FAD is meant to work,
” said Dennis
Ritchie of Captain Shark’s. “[The fisherman] also mentioned that there are
normally five boats fishing around the FAD as well. This tells us that the FAD
is working and we’re very proud and happy about it. We also know that someone
caught a marlin near the FAD just a week ago.

Captain Shark is willing
to assist in placing more FADs around but because it is costly, the San Pedro
Game Fish Association is encouraging other businesses to join and come up with
funds to install more FADs. Anyone wishing to sponsor or make contributions to
the San Pedro Game Fish Association to install more FADs can do so by contacting
Ian or Dennis Ritchie at Captain Shark’s. Fishing around FADs is encouraged.
Fishermen are advised that to maintain a healthy marine stock around the
floating device, it would be best to fish around the FAD every seven to
twenty-eight days.
San Pedro Sun