Blast fishing in southwest Sulawesi, Indonesia
- Blast fishing has been a widespread and accepted fishing technique in Indonesia for over 50 years. The largest coral reef fishery in Indonesia is around the Spermonde archipelago in southwest Sulawesi. With the expanding population and the increasing demand for fish for export, fishing has intensified and fish catches per unit effort are stable or declining. The use of bombs made with a mixture of kerosene and fertilizer is widely prevalent. In the market of the city of Ujung Pendang, an estimated 10-40% of the fish from capture fisheries are caught through blast fishing. This is destroying the hard corals. Blast fishing is seen by the fishers as being much easier and results in higher catches than with other traditional methods. They believe that the only way to limit this practice is with stricter policing and higher fines. An effective management option could be to establish national marine reserves within the archipelago, supported by other income-generating activities.
- Journal Article