||Fish aggregating devices (FADs) are floating objects used by fishers to aggregate pelagic fish such as tunas, and enhance the catch of these species. Because this is so important for tuna fisheries, nearly 100,000 FADs are deployed by fishers every year in the world's tropical oceans. Fishers use geo-locating buoys to track and maintain these FADs by visiting them regularly, reinforcing them if they are weak or replacing them. Many of these buoys are now equipped with echo-sounders in order to provide remote information on the aggregated biomass. FADs are currently only used for fishing purposes but they can also serve scientific objectives. In this paper, we investigate the potential of these data for improving our knowledge on the ecology of tunas and other pelagic animals as well as to obtain fishery-independent indices of distribution and abundance. These FADs also represent platforms for scientists to deploy scientific instruments, such as electronic tag receivers, cameras and hydrophones. Because FADs naturally aggregate several pelagic species other than tuna, these instrumented FADs can be a unique opportunity to observe pelagic ecosystem dynamics that are not possible from conventional research vessels. The amount of cost-effective data that they can provide would make a significant contribution to the scientific understanding of pelagic ecosystems. This information is vital for improved conservation and management of pelagic fisheries. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.