FADs are often entanglement hazards, especially when constructed with surplus purse seine netting, as is common in the fishery. This webbing, which hangs in panels suspended below the raft to a depth of 15 meters or more, can potentially entangle animals, including sensitive species such as sharks and turtles.
This “ghost fishing,” does appear to be a significant source of shark mortality, particularly in the Indian Ocean.
A number of research projects have investigated alternative FAD designs that reduce the incidental entanglement and catch of sharks and sea turtles, while maintaining the FAD’s ability to aggregate fish. The following galleries illustrate the Dos and Don’ts of ecologically-friendly FAD design. ISSF has produced a document summarizing the recommendations on non-entangling FAD construction: Here are some online resources.