STOP! Dynamite Fishing

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Dynamite fishing (homemade bomb) is set off under water to kill fish for easy collection. The dead fish floating to the surface are then simply scooped up. The explosives used destroy the marine environment, leaving it devoid of life. Dynamite fishing has contributed to massive destruction of Southeast Asian coral reefs over the past 20 years. Large blasted areas are very slow to recover because corals have difficulty establishing on loose or sandy substrate. Scientific studies showed that reef can take more than a century to recover once the live coral cover has been destroyed. Dynamite fishing is one of the most pervasive fishing techniques and it is banned by most countries.

In southern Philippines, between Malaysia (Borneo) and Philippines (Palawan) illegal dynamite fishing is still a common practice. “Extensive hard-to-patrol including in marine reserves has made dynamite fishing uncontrollable in southern Philippines. However, by stopping consumers from buying dynamited fish, sellers especially illegal fishermen will find themselves with a non-lucrative market” explains ESI President Pierre Fidenci during a meeting at the Philippine border in northern Borneo. He added “Stopping people from buying fish that have been dynamited is likely to be the most effective and feasible way to stop fishermen from killing coral reefs and marine life in an unsustainable manner”.

ESI is targeting an area between Borneo and Palawan Island (see map) where dynamite fishing is common. “Finding dynamited fish in local markets is unfortunately quite common” observed ESI president during his field visit in 2008. “The advantage is that we have small controllable market in each island in this region. By showing that we can stop selling dynamited fish at the main market in the biggest island in the region, then we will apply the same model to other islands. In exchange of local government unit and community collaboration, ESI will provide sustainable purifying water treatment systems that are much needed in this part of the world”.



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