NEW FISHING TECHNIQUES TO BE TAUGHT IN MARIANAS

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By Haidee V. Eugenio

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (April 17, 2001 - Marianas Variety/PINA Nius Online)---Fishermen in the Northern Marianas will soon be taught new techniques to catch big fish in deep waters without moving their boats.

The new technique will cut fuel costs for the fishermen.

The Department of Lands and Mineral Resources said it will conduct training to teach new long line fishing techniques to fishermen and interested individuals.

DLMR’s Marianne Teregeyo said the new Mid-water Vertical Longline Fishing Technique Training is sponsored in cooperation with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

Teregeyo said fishing trials at different locations around Saipan, Tinian and Rota will be conducted prior to the training to determine productivity.

The training will give fishermen a better understanding of "fish aggregating devices," or FADs, Teregeyo added.

"Fishermen are often unaware of the potential yields that can be generated by fishing around FADs and may not know of suitable fishing techniques. They may not have access also to the right gear or equipment. All these will be addressed also in the April training sessions," said Teregeyo.

FADs are floating devices that can withstand strong currents or storm conditions. Carefully calculated combinations of synthetic ropes are now used to produce mooring lines designed to withstand the harsh conditions of the marine environment.

Some FADs have life spans of up to five years in the ocean.

There are currently nine FADs deployed in the Northern Marianas – five around Saipan, two around Tinian and two around Rota.

Larger yellow fin, big eye and albacore tunas generally gather near FADs at depths between 50 and 300 meters (165-990 feet), although they can be found closer to the surface at times, especially at night, Teregeyo said.

Other fish species, including rainbow runner, mahimahi, sharks and billfish, are also commonly attracted to FADs.

Teregeyo said the SPC fisheries development officer who will conduct the training would arrive on Saipan from Nouméa, New Caledonia sometime in April.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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