Following a report from the Gendarmerie helicopter, the Mayotte Marine Natural Park team discovered a drifting fish aggregating device (or DCP dérivant) stranded and entangled in the coral reef in Dapani Bay.
In addition to being an obstacle to navigation, this pile of buoys and ropes represents a real danger to the environment. It seems to have accumulated a lot of floating waste as it drifted from the open sea to the coast of Mayotte (traditional fishing tackle, pieces of flip-flop, plastic crates…).
As a matter of urgency, the Parc Naturel Marin de Mayotte (Mayotte Marine Nature Park) removed it and is now preparing it for reuse.
The mass and volume of this waste, resulting from the fishing practices of tuna seiners, were so great that the Park’s vessel was unable to tow it.
Removal of the grounded device by a specialized company and its reprocessing via a suitable channel cost 5,628 euros, with the cost of ecological damage yet to be estimated.
An isolated case among thousands of other FADs
Maritime Affairs is conducting an investigation to identify the owner of the grounded FAD. The shipowner responsible for the drifting of this FAD is liable to prosecution for the consequences of the grounding, in particular for environmental damage through degradation of marine habitats and pollution.
In fact, 200 m² of coral reef was affected by the grounding of the FAD, causing extensive damage to Acropora colonies, mainly branching and tabular. When the device was removed from the reef, several of these colonies were detached from the seabed. Numerous small residues of the device (from the aggregate system, wires, nets and ropes) remained trapped in the crevices of the coral colonies and hard substrate, creating plastic pollution.
Unfortunately, this is just one of thousands of FADs drifting along the shores of the Indian Ocean.
On this subject, read our feature “Tuna caught in European nets” in JDA 12.
Source : Flash Infos
Sébastien Quaglietti / French Biodiversity Office