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Myanmar: Proper disposal of fishing nets emphasized in coral reef conservation efforts November 17,2020   |  Source: Eurasia Review

The fisheries industry in Myanmar must systematically dispose of old fishing nets in order to protect Arakan State’s coral reefs, according to U Ant Maung, a marine species conservation officer from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

He said when fishermen discard fishing nets into the sea without proper disposal, they can cling to underwater reefs and damage them.

“Coral reefs can be destroyed by minor damage … Coral reefs can be damaged by the fishing nets,” he explained. “Fishermen need to take their fishing nets back ashore if they no longer need to use their nets while fishing at sea. Disposable fishing nets should not be thrown into the sea.”

In addition, offshore fishing vessels, poaching, deforestation and soil erosion during the rainy season can also damage coral reefs, he said.

The presence of coral reefs along the coast helps prevent landslides, enriches fish stocks and absorbs carbon dioxide from the sea, said Dr. Cherry Aung, a Department of Marine Sciences professor at the University of Pathein. She argued that for these reasons it is important to systematically maintain existing coral reefs rather than view them as a resource that can easily be replaced.

“If coral reefs are replanted, it is very unlikely because the growth


© Eurasia Review

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