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Salvadoran fishermen ditch blast fishing for artificial reefs by MAX RADWIN July 10,2019   |  Source: Mongabay

With no police patrol in sight, a young fisherman named Jose Salvador Soriano kneeled into his long, narrow boat and began preparing an explosive with the power to bring in nearly an entire day’s catch. The explosive contained sulfur, benzoate, chlorate and sugar, packed into a tube of newspaper with a wick made from a bicycle-brake hose.

The best spot to throw an explosive was under the long, spider-like roots of the mangroves lining both sides of the estuary, as fish gather there in large numbers to lay their eggs. But this time, Soriano miscalculated. Before he could toss the explosive — the wick quickly burning down — it went off in his hand, leaving him amputated up to the high wrist.

Soriano, now 47, got away easy compared to many other residents of the 35 fishing communities along El Salvador’s Jiquilisco Bay Biosphere Reserve, a 241-kilometer (150-mile) wetland that contributes approximately 2 tons of fish to the country’s seafood markets every day. Some residents have been badly burned, lost an eye or — because explosives are normally packed with the tube held between the thighs — their legs and genitals.

But blast fishing has also taken a toll on Jiquilisco Bay’s marine life. Populations of yellowfin snook (Centropomus robalito), hawksbill sea

 

© 2019 Copyright Conservation news

Theme(s): Fishing Craft, Gear and Fishing Methods.

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