“The practice of fishing by destruction, such as with the use of bombs, should be halted. The demand and trade on fishery products from damage-inducing fishing practices should be gradually reduced and eliminated,” - Wawan Ridwan (director for maritime and fishery affairs of WWF-Indonesia)
The practice of fishing for tuna using homemade fertilizer bombs has skyrocketed off the coast of East Flores in East Nusa Tenggara, the World Wildlife Fund revealed in its latest survey. The survey found that even in a small village in the district of East Flores, a fleet of 98 fishing boats with a gross tonnage of two to three tons was fishing for tuna with bombs. Similar conditions can be found across the various islands to the east of the district, the survey, said.
Besides damaging the ecosystem, “blast fishing,” as the method is called, results in fish waste; the WWF noted that at least half of the tuna are not recovered after the explosion, as they sink deeper into the sea. Moreover, other marine species, such as dolphins, are killed in the process. Fishermen have also fell victim to the practice. One of the villagers surveyed said he recorded five deaths due to blast fishing since 2004.
“Considering that tuna is a major global fishing commodity, efforts from retailers to ascertain that the products they received from fishermen were from environmentally friendly fishing practices and not from activities that cause destruction are becoming increasingly important,” Wawan said.
The organization said that it was conducting counseling and advocacy among fishing groups to curb the use of bombs while fishing for tuna. Indonesia is the fourth largest tuna fishing nation in the world after Japan, Taiwan and Spain, according to a WWF report.