Friday, August 17, 2012

Stop! Dynamite Fishing

Since I was young I've heard about dynamite fishing being practiced in our small island - Mactan.  I never really saw this happening however I've heard from my parents and others.  My mom used to tell me that the fishes sold in the market were caught using dynamite fishing.  I never really know what this means before but since I started diving many years ago, I realized how this method has damaged our reefs.
Dynamite fishing or blast fishing is a destructive way of catching fishes.  The fishermen uses a bottle full of kerosine or gasoline and insert a cloth which serves as a wick and then they light it and throw it in the sea and then it explodes underwater.  Unfortunately the blast kills everything in its way including the corals.  There are some fishermen that aren't lucky and blast their hands in the process.  I know a few.  The fishermen also does not realize that this method leaves them very little fishes for human consumption and most dead fishes are turned into pieces and are left underwater for other species to feed on and yet, kills the natural habitat of fishes to breed.  This is very sad.  Although the government is trying their best to stop this way of fishing, but it is very hard to crack the system.
I thought it has been stopped since the construction of many international resorts on the island has somehow prevented local fishermen to do this around the reefs, however just recently while I was diving I heard blast underwater.  It did sound very near us but we never saw it.  Sound travel fast underwater, it may be very far from us however it sounded so near.  The dive master confirmed that it was dynamite fishing.  I thought to myself, no wonder there are no great reefs around the area and fishes has declined in numbers.  I wish the government will do something to rid this practice, so we have a sustainable environment and nice reefs for us divers to enjoy.

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