Popular fish attracting devices will be reinstalled off the NSW Far North and Mid North Coast from this week, Minister for Primary Industries Ian Macdonald said.

Mr Macdonald said the devices are used to enhance fishing opportunities for recreational fishers and are being reinstalled following annual winter maintenance.

“The fish attracting devices, or FADs, will be put back in the water off Ballina, Evans Head, Wooli, Coffs Harbour, South West Rocks and Port Macquarie from today, depending on local weather conditions,” Mr Macdonald said.

“These devices are very popular amongst fishers – they are like magnets for attracting mahi-mahi or dolphin fish and even marlin.”

FADs are yellow buoys, marked with a cross and navigation light on top, that are moored to the ocean floor.

They are installed between 6 and 32 kilometres offshore from October to June.

The location of a FAD may fluctuate slightly depending on wind, swell and current direction. The Department of Primary Industries relies on anglers to report missing FADs.

“The FAD program is just one of many initiatives funded by the Recreational Fishing Trust,” Mr Macdonald said.

“Funds raised from the recreational fishing licence fee are placed into two trusts, one for saltwater and one for freshwater, and can only be spent on projects to improve recreational fishing in NSW.

“This is another good example of fishers’ licence fees being put back into the water to improve recreational fishing in NSW.”

People who use the FADs are asked to abide by a code of conduct that can also be found on the Department’s website http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/.

Tying boats to FADs is prohibited as it may cause damage to the mooring line, causing the device to break free and become lost.

Fines of up to $5500 apply for this offence.

GPS locations for the FADs will be posted on the Department of Primary Industries web site when they are returned to the water.