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Published on Apr 28, 2016
Using rudimentary materials such as fertilisers and illegally purchased explosives from the mining industry, blast, or ‘dynamite’ fishing has reached its highest levels in Tanzania for decades, and is a particular issue around major urban areas like Dar es Salaam and Tanga. Tanzania is the only country in Africa that experiences this destructive fishing technique but it is an issue elsewhere especially in Southeast Asia; the effects of this method of fishing are catastrophic.
Depending on the size of the explosion, all marine life in the blast radius is killed indiscriminately, large areas of coral reefs are destroyed, and whales and dolphins across an even larger area can suffer irreparable damage to their echolocation systems.
These highly dangerous methods also pose a grave risk to fishers who handle the explosives, sometimes resulting in lost limbs and even death. The combination of population growth, poverty, the continuing depletion of coastal marine resources and a laxity in enforcement are at the heart of this issue.
At the forefront of the fight against this crisis are people like Kudra and Khamisi. Despite the risks of standing up to the dangerous illegal world of blast fishing, they dedicate their time and efforts to monitoring and attempting to catch those responsible. The following video provides a snapshot of the on-going crisis, its impacts on coastal communities and marine life, and two men’s brave efforts to fight it.
MWAMBAO Coastal Community Network works with local community members trained to monitor the incidence of blast fishing on the Tanzanian coast.