WE ARE NOT BYCATCH!
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