Blast fishing or dynamite fishing is the practice of using explosives to stun or kill schools of fish for easy collection. This often illegal practice can be extremely destructive to the surrounding ecosystem, as the explosion often destroys the underlying habitat (such as coral reefs) that supports the fish. The frequently improvised nature of the explosives used also means danger for the fishermen as well, with accidents and injuries.
Although outlawed, the practice remains widespread in Southeast Asia, as well as in the Aegean Sea, and coastal Africa. In the Philippines, where the practice has been well-documented, blast fishing was known prior to World War I, as this activity is mentioned by Ernst Jünger in his book Storm of Steel. One 1999 report estimated that some 70,000 fishermen (12% of the Philippines' total fishermen) engaged in the practice.
Extensive hard-to-patrol coastlines, the lure of lucrative, easy catches, and in some cases outright apathy or corruption on the part of local officials make enforcement of blast fishing bans an ongoing challenge for authorities.
Commercial dynamite or, more commonly, homemade bombs constructed using a glass bottle with layers of powdered potassium nitrate and pebbles or an ammonium nitrate and kerosene mixture are often employed. Such devices, though, may explode prematurely without warning, and have been known to injure or kill the person using them, or innocent bystanders.
Underwater shock waves produced by the explosion stun the fish and cause their swim bladders to rupture. This rupturing causes an abrupt loss of buoyancy; a small number of fish float to the surface, but most sink to the sea floor. The explosions indiscriminately kill large numbers of fish and other marine organisms in the vicinity and can damage or destroy the physical environment, including extensive damage to coral reefs.
... and 56 percent are threatened by destructive fishing techniques ... Major threats include overfishing, destructive fishing practices, sedimentation and pollution from land based sources ... reefs in Southeast Asia is due to illegal fishing practices and explosives ...
... In northern Tanzania, blast fishing, which is illegal, has re-emerged in recent years as a key danger to its coral reefs ... The damage of blast fishing in the area has contributed to unstable coral reefs, discouragement of tourism investors, and a threat to the habitat of coelacanths in the region ... Other impacts of blast fishing in the area include reports that citizens have died or lost limbs due to the blasting ...
... Take-Two Interactive NA, PAL 1 E/3+ Sports/Fishing Bass Masters 1999 ... Mass Media THQ NA 4 !1–4 E/— Sports/Fishing Bass Rush ECOGEAR PowerWorm Championship 2000 Visco Corporation Visco Corporation JP 1 ... Midway NA, PAL 4 !1–4 M/11+ Arcade/Fighting Blast Corps •Blast Dozer 1997 Rare Nintendo JP, NA, PAL 1 K-A/3+ Strategy/Demolition Blues Brothers 2000. 2000 ... HAL Laboratory Nintendo JP 1 — Sports/Fishing J-League Dynamite Soccer 1997 ... A-Max Imagineer JP 4 !1–4 — Sports/Soccer J-League Eleven Beat 1997 ... Hudson Soft ...
Famous quotes containing the words fishing and/or blast:
“It is long ere we discover how rich we are. Our history, we are sure, is quite tame: we have nothing to write, nothing to infer. But our wiser years still run back to the despised recollections of childhood, and always we are fishing up some wonderful article out of that pond; until, by and by, we begin to suspect that the biography of the one foolish person we know is, in reality, nothing less than the miniature paraphrase of the hundred volumes of the Universal History.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“Another hand thy sword shall wield,
Another hand the standard wave,
Till from the trumpets mouth is pealed
The blast of triumph oer thy grave.”
—William Cullen Bryant (17941878)