Environmental Disaster: Dynamite Fishing

By Francis Yupangco 6 years agoNo Comments

Having been on diving trips around the developing world, I have had the unpleasant experience of witnessing the terrible practice of dynamite fishing over the years. There has been a lot of effort, funding and education provided to help curb the practice, but sadly it still does happen. Researchers in Tanzania had an unpleasant discovery while studying whales and dolphins in the African country. They found out that Tanzanian fisherman routinely use bombs for fishing purposes also known as ‘blast-kill fishing.’ This basically entails using explosives to stun or kill large schools of fish, which are then more ‘easily’ collected. Blast fishing was said to be introduced by European armies in the first world war, who used grenades to catch fish for a fresh mail.  As you can imagine, this is extremely damaging to the surrounding ecosystem, and often to the fishermen themselves, and luckily is illegal in most places.
However, the practice still continues, especially in impoverished areas of the World. Currently, blast fishing is most used in South East Asia and Africa.The effects on coral reefs is especially devastating, turning the coral reefs into an effective graveyard with little hope for recovery. Additionally, the blast usually kills more fish than can be harvested. Although the practice should be easily policed, the mining and construction activity in Tanzania currently could be another reason that it is easier to obtain dynamite and also conceal blast fishing in Tanzania’s waters. Underwater recordings taken in March by National Geographic recorded up to 10 blasts per day. The Tanzanian government wants to stop the practice and is currently planning to begin a $1 million dollar initiative to reduce blast fishing. MORE

  Fish, Science

 Francis Yupangco

  (448 articles)

Francis is a marine biologist with an MBA and over 20 years of professional aquarium experience. Francis is the former Aquatic Development Manager at Hagen USA., makers of Fluval brand aquarium products. He co-stars on Nat Geo WILD's reality TV series Fish Tank Kings where he is the resident "Fish Geek" and was Director of Marketing at Living Color Aquariums. He is an avid explorer having visited over 45 countries and lived in 7. At 17, he was among the youngest aquarists ever hired by the Vancouver Aquarium, where he worked for 7 years. His aquatic biology experience ranges from larval fish rearing to the design, construction and operational management of renowned public aquariums around the world. Francis is currently head of marketing at the world's largest vertically integrated fish farming company.

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