By Staff Writer Mozza
The Department of Agriculture Fisheries has placed a number of fish attracting devices near Bribie Island waters to improve recreational fishing in the region luring boaties to the district and the island boat ramps and waterways which provide safe access to the devices.
The fish aggregating devices (FADs) deployed off Queensland consist of an 800mm cone-shaped special marker buoy, a 2nautical mile range marine lantern, acoustic receiver and GPS tracker. The FADs are anchored to the seafloor with heavy anchors and chains.
FADs provide structure in an open ocean environment. Fish are attracted to FADs for various reasons, including to feed on prey species or as reference points for schooling. Most fish attracted to the Queensland FADs are seasonal pelagic fish, which travel in the warm water delivered by the East Australian Current.
The FADs work most effectively when the sea temperature exceeds 20°C. Various FADs were assessed to find the best design for the intended species and to withstand the particularly harsh sea conditions experienced off the Queensland coast. Drift fishing and trolling are the most effective techniques for fishing around FADs. Remember, 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.
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. Also, make sure conditions are suitable for boating before heading offshore. 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.