View site #952 > ScoreCard for survey #1 > Issue
Introduction | Identification | Impacts | Causes | Actions | More Info
|Bomb fishing is used for short-term gains. However, these short-term incentives quickly disappear as the health of coral reefs decline from the destruction bombs cause. Fishermen must travel further and further away from their communities to maintain the amount of fish harvested for their needs. As catch for amount of fishing effort diminishes, incentives to use destructive methods increase. Educating fishermen in alternative methods of fishing and by spreading the word about the destructive nature of bomb fishing can discourage the practice.|
Legal means are another approach to dealing with this issue. Governments can enact legislation to prohibit bomb fishing and leaders can promote social values that discourage this behavior. In areas where bomb fishing is illegal, lack or high cost of enforcement and corruption are additional obstacles to eliminating the practice. Encouraging local and regional governments to set aside more funding for enforcement of existing regulations and increasing the penalties for those that are caught bomb fishing will also help to remedy the problem.
There are several actions individuals can take to help decrease bomb fishing on coral reefs. These include:
Make bomb fishing socially unacceptable by educating the community on the destructive nature the practice.
Report bomb fishing to local authorities and note where and when it occurs.
Report signs of coral damage due to bomb fishing.
Create and enforce laws designed to stop the practice.
Develop and encourage other income generating options for bomb fishers.
Encourage local fishers to use fishing methods other than bombs and provide training on how to fish with non-destructive methods.
Analyze the long-term costs to the economy and to the ecosystem resulting from bomb fishing.
Document the direct effects of bomb fishing on the local economy, society and ecosystems.
Support programs to enhance reef recovery and to development restoration methods.
Create a public awareness campaign to increase understanding of the short and long-term impacts to reefs caused by bomb fishing. See Environmental Interpretation: A Practical Guide for People with Big Ideas and Small Budgets, by S.H. Ham.
Enhance social sanctions that discourage this behavior from within the community. Changing local values and morals may be the most effective way to decrease the practice of bomb fishing.
Include local fishers in the biological and social assessments of bomb fishing and in the development of reef management plans.
Encourage non-governmental organizations (NGOs), tourism industries, and coastal communities to lobby politicians to support legislation banning this practice, and if already banned, to support legislation to fund enforcement. See Legal and Jurisdictional Framework for Coastal Management, Book No. 2 of the Philippine Coastal Management Guidebook Series by the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, Philippines, available at: http://www.oneocean.org/download/20011005/Book2.pdf
Make the sale and possession of bombed fish illegal and ban the possession of key bomb making components.
Impose real penalties for bomb fishing, as well as the sales and possession of bombed fish. See Philippine Coastal Management Guidebook Series, No. 8, Coastal Law Enforcement by the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, Philippines, available at: http://oneocean.org/download/20011005/Book8.pdf
Provide adequate funding for patrols and other means to enforce laws that ban bomb fishing.
Train and certify enforcement staff to detect and identify fish that have been harvested using bombs. See Philippine Coastal Management Guidebook Series, No. 8, Coastal Law Enforcement by the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, Philippines, available at: http://oneocean.org/download/20011005/Book8.pdf
Create marine protected areas to exclude bomb fishing practices. See Marine and Coastal Protected Areas: A Guide for Planners and Managers (2000) by Salm et al. for information on establishing MPAs.
Consider joining ‘ecolabeling’ or certification programs for fish and invertebrates that have been harvested at a sustainable level and without use of bombs or other destructive methods. For more information about certification programs, go to the Marine Stewardship Council website at http://eng.msc.org/
|Reef slope damaged by bomb fishing.|