has 8129 kms of coastline with a continental shelf
of 512,000 sq.km and 2.2 million sq.km of marine
waters in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Estimated
harvestable marine fishery resources are about 3.9
million tonnes annually. Availability of fish resources
upto a depth of 50 meters is estimated at 2.8 million
tones, between 50-200 meters depth 1.336 million
tones, between 200-500 meters 0.028 million tones
and at oceanic zone level 0.246 million tones. The
annual catch is currently 2.57 million tonnes, of
which 80 percent is from upto 50 m depth, the zone
mostly accessed by traditional fishermen. However,
this is only 66 percent of the total catch available.
The Artificial Reef or Fish Aggregating Device (AR/FAD)
technology helps realize the full potential of marine
resources available in coastal India, and in order
to increase the fish catch and thus incomes of traditional
traditionally sink branches of trees and other such
objects to act as artificial reefs based on their
observation that fish tend to gather at and around
such natural reefs under the sea. The AR/FAD technology
is based on this traditional practice.
AR/FAD is a man-made structure sunk onto the seabed
to attract and provide a gathering place for fish
to facilitate capture. It is a relatively simple
structure made of readily available materials and
installed in the sea with suitable anchoring at
selected sites. A buoy is attached to the sunken
structure with a nylon rope connection. The HDPE
framework and the ropes are stung with netting materials,
pipe pieces, old tyres, etc. which act as attractants.
are attracted by the moving shadows created by the
sunken structure in seawater and gather around the
device. Some fishes take shelter under the shadow
while some others nibble at small plants and animals
sticking to the devices.
device enables a larger catch at readily identifiable
spots closer to shore, saves time spent by traditional
fishermen searching for good fishing sites and also
enables capture of species from deeper waters which
normally may not be available at these lesser depths.