Research and Experiments
Transfer of Moored Fish Aggregating Devices

Transfer of Moored Fish Aggregating Devices (MFAD) from Guadeloupe to Azores and Madeira

What is it about ?

The ORFISH project’s objective regarding this activity, consists in several fishing experiments in the ORs, with exchanges of expertise among fishers and fisheries experts between ORs.

The preparation of the test in the Azores of the most common fishing technique all around in the Caribbean - with special emphasis in Guadeloupe and Martinique region – the Moored Fish Aggregating Device (MFAD), will start in the beginning of May 2018.

The MFAD in the Azores is deployed in the Marine Protected Area of Condor Bank at the beginning of the FS (June 2018), 5 nautical miles SW of Faial, and anchored at 1100 m deep (see map below).

After their deployment, these structures are monitored regularly throughout the year, with on-site surveys and with the help of a special buoy with a solar panel and sonar incorporated.


The deployment will be achieved following this plan:

  • January → March 2018: Identification of the local fishermen’s communities needs in Azores and Madeira, of constraints and technological locks due to local conditions, discussions with fishers
  • Février → Avril 2018: Specification for an adapted MFADs to local conditions (anchoring, ropes and buoys specification, etc.)
  • May 2018: MFADs material order
  • Tuna High Season: Organization of MFADs setting and co-building of the 2 MFADs in Azores and Madeira, with a team composed of MFADs Guadeloupean experts and fishers
  • Monitoring Period:  MFAD setting reporting and monitoring including fishermen feedback and data for each region
  • July 2019: End of the project


MFAD Building

Coordinated by Andrea Zanella, from seaExpert, with the help of Eduardo Santos, the Azorean referent fisherman for ORFISH, and in presence of one Seaman’s instructor, all the parts of the MFAD have been built and assembled in ten days.

Different phases of the MFAD construction

Once all the components of the MFAD were partially connected, they have been transported to the harbour, where, with the help of the crane of the Archipelago (the research vessel of the Azores Region) they were uploaded on-board.

The MFAD on board of the Archipelago waiting to be lauched in the Ocean

The Archipelago and its team, has been made available to the ORFISH project for the realisation of the mooring of the MFAD. During the navigation all the components of the MFAD have been assembled. In few hours, the operation was well completed, and the MFAD perfectly moored.

he MFAD moored in its position (bottom left corner) at 1117m depth

First video on the MFAD

A first dive was organized in August to check the correct deployment of the MFAD.

And then?

In order to extend the knowledge transfer to other regions, a workshop on MFADs design and management is organized during workshop#3, in Canaries, in October 2018.

Do you want to know more?

Partners involved in this experiment