Safely using FADs

Code of conduct for FAD fishing

  • RESPECT other FAD users at all times.
  • FADs are for the benefit and enjoyment of all recreational sectors, including anglers, charter operators and spearfishers.
  • Courtesy should be given to fishers who are already using the FAD.
  • FAD users should take turns in fishing the FAD and accommodate new arrivals.
  • Spearfishers should be aware of other FAD users and should not enter the water if other boats are around the FAD. Likewise, anglers should wait until spearfishers have completed their drift past the FAD before deploying lines (spearfishers usually only spend a short time period around FADs).
  • Spearfishers should always tow a float displaying the “Divers Flag A”.
  • A safety boat, with the operator acting as a lookout, should accompany spearfishers at all times.
  • All fishers should keep boats, lines and lures a safe distance from the FAD, spearfishers and other boats at all times.
  • Do not tie your boat up to the FADs. This may cause damage to the mooring line of the FAD, causing the device to break free and become lost (fines of up to $5,500 apply).
  • Limit your catch – do not catch your limit. Take only what you need.


Because FADs are sometimes situated long distances from shore, please ensure your boat is suitable for offshore fishing and you have all the correct safety equipment required by law by the NSW Maritime Authority.

Additionally, be sure to check the current marine weather forecast before venturing offshore to assess if conditions are suitable for boating. You can do this online at or by calling 131 236.

No mooring PLEASE

FADs are not designed as mooring devices; NO MOORING is allowed. Unfortunately, some fishers still break the law by tying off to the devices, resulting in anchors dragging or worst still, FADs breaking free and becoming lost. FADs work most effectively when they are left in place for long periods of time. Every time a FAD is lost, so is the effectiveness of the device and the surrounding location.

If you see a fisher tied off to the device, please inform them of this. As a result of their recklessness, all fishers may lose a productive and beneficial fishing location. Remember, this is 'Your fishing licence fee at work'. Fines of up to $5500 apply.