What is a FAD
FADIO 1 a european project
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FADIO I a european project

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Development of prototypes

Improvement of knowledge

EU DG Research Contract # QLRI-CT-2002-02773
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FADIO I, a European project
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FADIO I was built around two principal objectives in order to, in the long term, transform FADs into observatories of the pelagic ecosystems:

1. Development of prototypes: new electronic tags and instrumented buoys to observe fish aggregations around FADs.

2. Improvement of knowledge on the behaviour of pelagic fish around FADs.

To achieve these objectives, the FADIO I team carried out 5 cruises off the Seychelles, as well as experiments in tanks at the Hawaï Institute of Marine Biology (Hawaii, U.S.A.).

Financing and partners


FADIO was a research project financed by the DG Research of the European Union (5th FP, Contrat #QLRI-CT-2002-02773).

The project lasted almost 4 years (January 2003-October 2006).

The budget was of: 1,38 € million from the DG Research, 1,32 € million from partners, 42000 € from French and Spanish associations of tuna purse seiners.


FADIO gathered 10 partners from France, Spain, Norway, Greece, Belgium, the United States and the Seychelles, for a total of approximately 30 scientists.

Five PhD theses were done under the project: 2 French, 1 Spanish, 1 Greek, 1 American.

(Click here to see the list of the institutions and people implied and their contact)


To optimize the effectiveness of research, FADIO researches were structured by working groups (Work Package WP), each group constituting a project in its own, to answer the two principal objectives of the project.

Five off-shore cruises took place during FADIO I, allowing to collect the first data on tuna behaviour around drifting FADs.
Click here to reach the summaries of the cruises.

The Indian Ocean Explorer, the research vessel used during FADIO I (

Below are the headings of the WP with the corresponding main results

  • WP1 : Project management.

> Why conduct research on FADs?

> FADIO = a team adventure

> Accomplishments

  • WP2 : Development of new electronic tags
> Ecology tags New tags to answer old questions vignette
> From acoustic signature of captive tuna to sounds around drifting FADs
First bioacoustic study on FADs
  • WP3 :Sonic tracking of fish aroud drifting FADs
> Estimation of the orientation distance to FADs:The case study of dolfinfish (Coryphaena hippurus) vignette
  • WP4 : Time residency around FADs
> Residence times and swimming depths of pelagic fish around FADs as monitored by a new satellite-linked acoustic receiver vignette
  • WP5 : Acoustic surveys around FADs
> Multi-species aggregations around drifting FADs: The underwater view vignette
> Tracking tuna school dynamics: Applying multibeam long range sonars vignette
> Acoustics surveys around drifting FADs: Part. 1: Materials and methods vignette
> Acoustics surveys around drifting FADs: Part 2. Tuna aggregations and biological environment: spatial distribution and variability vignette
  • WP6 : Fishery data analyses
> Behaviour of tropical tuna around drifting FADs based on empirical fishermen knowledge vignette
  • WP7 : Model of aggregation processes
> Theoretical behavioural models To estimate number of non-FAD associated fish from number of FAD-associated fish vignette
  • WP8 : Prototypes of instrumented buoys
> Observing shoals of free-swimming fish around FADs by an instrumented autonomous buoy: A new tool for marine researchers vignette
  • WP9 : Dissemination of results
> Communicating to scientist, fishermen and the general public: An important effort by the FADIO consortium vignette


> Publications : to reach the publications carried out during FADIO I, click here

> Booklets: distributed to skippers of the European fleet in the Seychelles

>Photos : More than 6 000 digital photos in a database, which can be used by FADIO scientists to illustrate their research activities

>Video Clips : Five 3-minute video clips to illustrate each scientific cruise, accessible by the site from Canal IRD (seek Thema 2 FADIO).

 >Movies :
- A 5 minute movie presenting the fauna aggregated around FADs (this movie won two prizes at the international festival of underwater movies SUBIOS in the Seychelles in 2005)
- A10-minute movie on the fishing technique used by purse seiners
- A 20-minute movie summarizing the main researches conducted in the project

>DVD : a DVD in 4 languages (french, english, spanish, greek) gathering all movies, a selection of the best photos, main results, and a presentation of the actors and tools used during the project. To get the DVD, please make a request to Laurent Dagorn(

>Posters : Posters presenting the main results of the project at scientific symposia, fishermen exhibitions, and the FADIO exhibition at the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco.

>FADIO final workshop :    
The team of FADIO organized a final international workshop at the Oceanographical Museum of Monaco on October 26, 2006. The results and the future prospects were presented at invited personalities, including world experts in tuna fisheries, marine ecology, heads of the tuna commissions, representatives of the EU, and fishermen.

Click here to read the introductory talk of Dr Patrice Cayré, head of the Department of Living Ressources at IRD.

Photograph memory in front of the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco


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