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Fish bombing is a form of destructive fishing that is illegal in Malaysia.

It involves the use of
explosives that are normally homemade using simple artificial chemicals derived from fertilizers,
packed into bottles. To activate it, the fuse is lit and the bottle dumped into the water. When the
charge explodes, it causes shock waves which kill or stun fish. The fish then float to the surface
or sink to the bottom. This enables the blast fishers to easily collect them.

Whenever explosives are used, no matter in what context, there will be collateral damage.
Such destructive practices are very damaging to the ecosystem as the explosions normally destroy
the surrounding habitat i.e. coral reefs and other marine life. Fragmentation of the substrate does
not provide a stable enough environment for recovery. Even if new coral recruits do start to grow,
water movement will cause abrasion of newly growing corals, quickly killing them. Examples of
reefs that have completely disappeared because of blast fishing are endless. Once teeming with
life (such as lobsters, giant clams, shrimp and sea turtles) such reefs are now a desert.

Fish bombing also has severe human impacts. Blast fishers expose themselves to severe
risks of injury and even death by engaging in such behavior, especially since they are using
homemade explosives. Just walk into fishing villages where blast fishers are known to reside.
Every villager would be able to relate a story to you of a person who has been injured - or even
died because of premature exploding bombs. Even those who do not practice fish bombing are
affected. There are hundreds of thousands of artisanal, or small scale, fisherman who have had
their traditional fishing grounds eventually become barren due to continued blast fishing activity.
Some divers have reportedly gone temporarily deaf due to the underwater blast, and there is one
case of a diver who went permanently deaf in one year because a fish bomb went off underwater
near him.

Economically, blast fishing only has a temporary yield. For example, in Southwest
Sulawesi, Indonesia, the net annual income per fish dropped from US$6,450 to less than US$550
after repetitive use of destructive fishing methods. Closer to home in Sabah, fisheries production
has dropped by over 70% over the last 20 years while the net income from each hectare of reef
has fallen by 80%. Some fishermen have turned to blast fishing as they get a lower yield in fish

Effective management of Marine Protected Areas is instrumental for its success. The government and the states cannot idly sit by and watch their reefs disappear. Additional patrols can always be supported through fees charged to divers and tourists for example. it is simply easier and they can make more money using such methods. there have been collaborations between officials and village communities to provide information and help to patrol the surrounding waters. However. for the majority of blast fishermen. Philippines. Examples of success stories can be used as case studies to be implemented here. there is too little money or desire to enforce these environmental laws. More oversight is necessary. In Cebu. In Indonesia. It has been proven time and time again that firmer enforcement is an effective strategy in managing blast fishing. However. However. Many people think that blast fishing is ingrained in tradition and therefore difficult to eradicate. Excuses are aplenty when it comes to tackling these issues. But it only takes one generation to stop a practice that is rooted in tradition. Malaysians should be more than familiar with the reasons for such lax enforcement. Often.when they use traditional methods. They resort to it to ensure that they can continue putting food on the table for their families. Blast fishing is illegal. enforcement is difficult. laws are most often enforced where external organizations help rangers and police do their jobs. there are still ways in which we can address these issues. It is understandable that all these require resources. It all boils down to greed. .