Thursday, July 24, 2008

Dynamite fishing threatens sea turtles

Environmentalists in El Salvador are seeking international support in their efforts to combat fishermen who are using dynamite to fish in some of El Salvador's environmentally sensitive waters. I came across this plea for help on the website of Deep Sea News :

In an alarming trend, the practice of "dynamite" or "bomb" fishing has spread recently to Central America. Reports are coming in that hawksbill turtles are being blasted to death by explosive fishermen working in the Biosphere Reserve of the Bahia de Jiquilisco, El Salvador. At least seven turtles have been found dead, according to Michael Liles, Sea Turtle Conservation Project Coordinator for Fundacion Zoologica de El Salvador (FUNZEL).

The use of explosives is exterminating all species of larvae, juvenile and adult fish, as well as crustaceous, mollusks, sea turtles, and other species of organism living throughout the Bahia de Jiquilisco.

The practice spread from Southeast Asia, where dynamite fishing is common. The blast leaves a crater on the saeabed, and stuns the fish, which are then collected by nets. Corals and turtles are irreparably damaged in the process. This technique (and others) were outlawed in the Philippines in 1986. However, the practice is difficult to enforce and control, because fishermen make their own explosives in bottles filled with fertilizer and alcohol. (Read more).

At least 8 Hawkbill turtles, an endangered species have been killed in the Bay of Jiquilisco Biosphere Reserve in the first half of this year.


El-Visitador said...

«In an alarming trend, the practice of "dynamite" or "bomb" fishing has spread recently to Central America.»

This is erroneous information.

Fishermen were using explosives already in the 1970's, and possibly earlier. My grandfather, a landless peasant without education beyond the third grade, recognized how damaging this was to all creatures and condemned this evil practice.

Anonymous said...

What the hell. And when the fishermen have blasted the coral reefs and all the fishery what is next? So long to their long way of life, yes? It is a pity that the void created by a lack of education allows things that could easily be prevented to happen. It is so sad that goverment's like this one were so damn eager to make any effort necessary to keep El Salvador in a perpetual state of underdevelopment that our population isn't too savvy about proper resource management. What is the necessary thing to do to stop this kind of practices?

Anonymous said...

OK i have an idea , what about make an squad that takes care of the shore and keep an eye on the fishermen. of course that has to have certin rules the do's and dont's in the salvadorean shore see eassy , and there you go regulating the practice and also making safe to eat, i dont want to eat a fish caught it in that way, not safe, for the consumers, whats wrong with this people????

El-Visitador said...

«It is a pity that the void created by a lack of education»

Dude, this goes beyond "education."

This more about ethics and common sense. As I mentioned earlier, my clearly uneducated grandfather instinctively knew how much collateral damage explosives-based fishing causes and what the long term consequences were.

I am not sure this can be taught in a school setting.

I say any savages who wipe out their livelihood doing this should be fully entitled to living with the consequences of their recklesness and thereby getting their just desserts.