Time to stop blast fishing

This shocking video has emerged from the Mentawai Island chain, a collection of roughly 70 small islands which are part of Indonesia. As you can see from the footage, some local fishermen are using gunpowder to stun or kill schools of fish before collecting them.

The process, known as blast fishing, spells destruction for the ecosystem that exists on the ocean floor. The area was badly affected by the tsunami in 2004 and as a result social conditions on the islands are poor. Therefore attention is now on islanders being able to provide for their families, rather than the state of the ocean reefs.

However, it needs to be remembered that this method of fishing will eventually impact the livelihoods of all who use the surrounding waters of the Mentawai Islands to make a living. Blast fishing was practiced around Greece and Turkey 50 or so years ago, as a result there are now few fish left in their waters. The fishermen need to be advised that while gunpowder kills all fish, big and small, it is also dreadful news for the reefs and ultimately their way of living.

A petition, which will be presented to the Government of Indonesia, has been set up to hopefully bring an end to the practice. If you wish to sign it you can do so here.

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