Dynamite fishing threatens sea turtles
Environmentalists in El Salvador are seeking international support in their efforts to combat fishermen who are using dynamite to fish in some of El Salvador's environmentally sensitive waters. I came across this plea for help on the website of Deep Sea News :
In an alarming trend, the practice of "dynamite" or "bomb" fishing has spread recently to Central America. Reports are coming in that hawksbill turtles are being blasted to death by explosive fishermen working in the Biosphere Reserve of the Bahia de Jiquilisco, El Salvador. At least seven turtles have been found dead, according to Michael Liles, Sea Turtle Conservation Project Coordinator for Fundacion Zoologica de El Salvador (FUNZEL).The use of explosives is exterminating all species of larvae, juvenile and adult fish, as well as crustaceous, mollusks, sea turtles, and other species of organism living throughout the Bahia de Jiquilisco.
The practice spread from Southeast Asia, where dynamite fishing is common. The blast leaves a crater on the saeabed, and stuns the fish, which are then collected by nets. Corals and turtles are irreparably damaged in the process. This technique (and others) were outlawed in the Philippines in 1986. However, the practice is difficult to enforce and control, because fishermen make their own explosives in bottles filled with fertilizer and alcohol. (Read more).
At least 8 Hawkbill turtles, an endangered species have been killed in the Bay of Jiquilisco Biosphere Reserve in the first half of this year.