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May 2016    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 42, No. 5   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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A Way to Stop Fish Bombing

from the May, 2016 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

It's a problem throughout the tropical world. Local fishermen bomb the reef with explosives to kill all the fish for easy harvesting. Sadly, it's a short-term strategy, because the reef is destroyed and with it, the environment that allows more fish to breed. Nevertheless, these people are poor and need to feed their families today. They don't have the first-world luxury of thinking about the future.

The governments of countries such as Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia have made such practices illegal, but find it difficult to enforce the law. They need to catch the perpetrators in the act.

Applying the same technology that police offers in the U.S. now employ to combat gun violence, scientists and engineers are developing a groundbreaking system for detecting underwater explosions so authorities can respond immediately. A partnership between Silicon Valley-based technology company SST, leading underwater filmmakers Scubazoo and the conservation organization Teng Hoi is using that technology in Sabah, Malaysia, to detect within seconds where these explosions happen, allowing enforcement officers to get there without delay.

Stop Fish Bombing is a nongovernmental organization (NGO) with global ambitions to roll out its technology to help prevent bomb fishing anywhere, saving marine ecosystems and the livelihoods of the communities that rely on them.

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