Dynamite Fishing

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bomb-157150_960_720Dynamite fishing also called blast fishing, is defined as the practice of using explosives to stun or kill schools of fish for easy collection . The dynamite can be made up of a 500 milliliter plastic bottle full of explosives. The bottle has a fuse that you would light and then throw into the water. When the explosion occurs, ocean water shoots up to the sky and a loud boom sound can be heard. After a few seconds a snorkeler goes into the water and scoops up dozens of dead fish. Dynamite fishing is described as a “brutally effective and destructive form of fishing.” It is destructive because it has caused a decline in the amount of fish in places that participate in this style of fishing, this was observed by the Wildlife Conservetive Society in Tanzania city Dar es Salaam, where dynamite fishing is quite prevalent. The fisher men complain that the traditional methods of fishing are not helping them catch anything so they adopted this method of dynamite fishing instead. The problem is this method of fishing is causing the fish to be scarce and it is also destroying the fragile coral reefs that support the fish. The fish that are intended to be caught, are not the only one’s affected by the explosives, but also other fish that may be 10 meters away. explosion-417894_960_720The fishing business is really big in Tanzania, but now the seas are empty due to all the dynamite fishing. What once would be a successful fishing expedition, has been reduced to inconsistency, and it’s hard for somebody to rely on fishing to make a living. One would think, why not stop it? Is it not illegal? Fisherman who have spoken out aloud, condemning dynamite fishing were threatened and sometimes even their homes set alight. The practice has been illegal in Tanzania since 1963, but not much is being done to enforce the law.  The explosives are homemade, they contain the key ingredient, the waterproof explosive Explogel V6, that is meant to be used in the mines, but instead it makes its way to the black market where it is sold. The incredible thing is that dynamite fishing in Tanzania takes place in broad daylight and the loud boom sound from the explosives can be heard for miles. But still even the task team titled MATT, made up of Smartfish and Tanzanian authorities, who have caught people participating in dynamite fishing or distributing the explosives, are faced with the courts that have for the longest time either failed to punish those caught or given them such lenient sentences.  (Under the 2003 Fisheries Act of Tanzania minimum sentences are 5 years for dynamite fishing and 12 months for possession of explosives). Hopefully this will catch the President of Tanzania attention so that he can adopt methods like in Kenya, where the police there have cracked down on illegal dynamite and they patrol the coast frequently.

Source: Tanzania: Deadly Dynamite Fishing Resurfaces

Source: Desperate Tanzanian fishermen are illegally dynamiting fish by the boatload

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