Pêche, Aquaculture et Ecosystèmes Marins
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Nearshore FAD support to Atauro Island, Timor Leste

FADIn July 2013, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) provided technical support in rigging and deploying three artisanal nearshore fish aggregating devices (FADs) or ‘rumpon’ at three sites along the east coast of Atauro Island in Timor Leste. Atauro Island is 22 nautical miles north of Dili and has a population of about 10,000 people, mostly artisanal fishers and subsistence farmers.



Timor Leste is a target beneficiary country of the EU-funded SPC/DevFish2 project. During the project’s scoping mission, it was realised that there was little scope for industrial tuna development in Timor Leste and fisheries are likely to remain predominantly small scale for the short to medium term.  A priority need registered was for FAD capacity development in the country.


SPC/DevFish2 liaised with WorldFish and identified Atauro Island. Atauro Island had a local marine management area (MMA) programme supported by the local community and an eco-resort: Barry’s Place. This location was focussing on traditional governance systems (tara bandu) with potential chance of success.  It was considered that the MMA would be greatly enhanced with FADs.


The eastern coast of the island is the most populated side and this side of the coast line is characterised by a narrow fringing reef, which is considered to be heavily fished. This project is designed to promote fishing effort transfer.


The National Directorate of Fisheries and Aquaculture (NDFA) had four staff as local counterpart trainees. Two officers were from headquarters in Dili and the other two were local fisheries officers from the island. Glen Cleland, a local resident on the island, was also involved in the project. The project implementation team was pleased with the working attitude and interest shown by the local participants and considered that the locals had gained some insights into FAD technology.


Because of language difficulty, WorldFish and the local NGO – Roman Luan – assisted in facilitating a series of awareness workshops with the local communities.


With subsequent fishing around these FADs, the performance, productivity and impact on the local community will be assessed.


Although there were some challenges, on the whole the implementation team is pleased with how the project went and consider it successfully implemented.

David Mills from WorldFish stated, 'WorldFish has been working on Atauro Island for a couple of years and our participatory planning with communities pointed to FADs as an important tool for reducing pressure on reef resources, and improving livelihoods of fishers. It has been fantastic to have SPC’s experience to provide training and handle the technical side of FAD deployment;  the communities are very excited to see this moving ahead.'

The coordinates and information of these FADs were sent to the regular water taxis that ferry between Dili and Atauro and also to the habour master in Dili.


For further information please contact SPC Fisheries Development Officer Jonathan Manieva

Mise à jour le Vendredi, 27 Septembre 2013 09:34