Friday, February 15, 2008

Blast Fishing in Jamaica

Of all our grand accomplishments during the last 100 years, and there are so many, the development of chemical poisons is not one of them.

While some would argue that long ago we would have lost the ability to feed the billions of people on the planet were is not for crop production improvements brought about by chemicals used as fertilizer or pest control, is it really worth the ultimate cost?

At what point did we forfeit our understanding of nature, cause and effect, and the spiritual interconnectivity of all things? That was a tragic turning point in our existence.
Man’s destruction of the natural world takes many shocking forms. Poachers gun down elephants for the ivory and leave the carcasses to rot. Illegal foresters slash the trees of the rain forests for a quick buck. And in the Blue Mountains and John Crow Mountains here, people go fishing by dumping poison in the Rio Grande.

Any toxin will do. Some favor the pesticide used to keep insects off the coffee plants. Others use the potent solution used to rid cows of ticks. When subjected to the poison, the shrimp — large and small — float right to the top. So do the fish. Catching them is as easy as scooping them up before the river washes them and the poison away.

“You have to put all morals and conscience aside, and then you throw a toxic pesticide in the river,” said Kimberly John of the Nature Conservancy, which is leading an effort to stop what it considers the principal threat to the ecosystem. “It’s a very cold, hard reality to put poison in the river, and whatever jumps out, you catch.”

Economics is driving the practice, experts and river poisoners themselves say.

Ah yes, another ugly side of economics.
“You can get 10 pounds of janga in two hours,” said Carlton Walker, a 42-year-old fisherman. He has been caught twice poisoning the Rio Grande. Wading in the water recently, he showed how he would scoop the poisoned janga like mad and make as much as $50 in no time at all. “It’s quick money,” he said.

Some "fishermen" are also using dynamite in the river which literally blasts fish and shrimp out of the water.

This is sick and depressing. I'm wondering if I should create another blog label: "a fucked world."

What's really sad is that I thought I coined a term for it with my post title. Unfortunately, a Google search revealed an uglier truth.
Dynamite fishing, or blast fishing, is a profound and widespread threat to coral reefs. Though generally illegal, it is practiced in more than thirty countries. Blast fishing kills fish indiscriminately and pulverizes living coral. Repeated blasting creates vast deserts of loose coral rubble largely devoid of marine life.

A Wikipedia writer added:
Blast Fishing is sometimes called "Redneck Fishing" or "Hillbilly Fishing".

Funny. Real funny.

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