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Blast Fishing

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Bring the Dynamite
What’s the easiest way to go fishing? Ten sticks of dynamite and a case of Pabst. Blast fishing may be perceived to be a redneck specialty here in America, but that is not the case as we cross the ocean. Some fishermen in Southeast Asia and Africa still practice this method regardless of its legality. Three areas to examine are; the effect on the coral reefs or ocean floors, the effect on the marine life, and ways to prevent further damage.

Indonesian fishermen have been destroying the off shore reefs for decades and is the largest area of concern. “Damage from bombs and other disruptions, like sedimentation, cyanide fishing, and coral mining, has severely degraded 70 percent of the nation's reefs and left only six percent in excellent condition” (Ryan, 2001). With the chemicals and sediment left behind from the explosions the coral reef may take decades to redevelop.

Each explosion kills not only the school of fish targeted but any other marine life around them. The damage to the reef itself strips away the home to much of the underwater life, leaving the organisms vulnerable. “. By reducing or removing a specific species, overfishing changes the coral reef food web” (The Coral Reef Alliance, 2012). The substantial amount of undesired fish that are killed reduces reproduction and leads to another problem, overfishing.

Laws are in place to prevent harmful fishing. However, they are barely enforced. Villagers slip by enforcement much easier than commercial fishermen. The villagers set out in small fleets with homemade bombs and nets. The Coral Reef Alliance suggests five ways to prevent destructive fishing. Among them are ideas to; increase enforcement, create and improve marine protected areas, regulate international trade, adopt the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, and finally, create alternative livelihoods. Education on these issues is vital for a stronger enforcement....

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