WE ARE NOT BYCATCH!

Asian Diver (English) - - Front Page -

ON THE MORNING of Septem­ber 30, in Cebu, Philip­pines, an ex­pe­ri­enced 33-year-old dive in­struc­tor was killed while mak­ing a recre­ational dive, leav­ing be­hind a griev­ing fam­ily that in­cluded seven kids, a wife, and par­ents. Al Bernard Coy­oca wasn’t killed on pur­pose; he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, a vic­tim of blast fish­ing, be­com­ing an­other life lost as “bycatch”.

When l learned of this, my heart went out to this fam­ily but l was also fu­ri­ous – why are we still un­able to do away with th­ese il­le­gal and highly de­struc­tive fish­ing tech­niques?

For those who are un­fa­mil­iar with blast fish­ing, it is fish­ing via the use of dy­na­mite, a method that has been pop­u­lar in the Indo-Pa­cific and es­pe­cially South­ern China seas. I’ve heard sto­ries of blast fish­er­men who lose their fin­gers, hands, or get hurt badly when they don’t drop the

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